Few players in baseball experienced as much regression in 2010 as Bartlett had in his third season with the Rays. His average dropped 66 points and his stellar slugging percentage for a shortstop (.490) fell to Earth in a big way (.350). In short, his career-best 50 extra-base hits became a more realistic 34, he drew fewer walks per plate appearance and his power regressed to a healthy norm (for a shortstop). But with a new home and San Diego, a clean bill of health and a regular playing time, Bartlett should become the kind of player the Padres traded for.
But before the outfielder completed his feel-good story — you know, former prospect, injured, loses an entire season, drops off map — he was playing sporadically for the Padres in July, a week before his 30th birthday, all while scuffling with his swing.
“[40 stolen bases] is definitely an attainable-type number for him, and I’m sure he’s set higher goals,” Roberts said. “I think the thing he has to just continue to do is trust his instincts. The more you do it, the more you trust it, the better you become.”
“I played with 90 percent of those guys,” Latos said. “I’m not going to go hard inside and risk hitting one of them. There were positive things. I had a good downhill angle. I worked at a fast tempo. My two-seamer (fastball) was moving.”
Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn and Dave Winfield fill the all-important 2 and 3 holes in the lineup, with Adrian González as a cleanup hitter. The left side of the infield leaves much to be desired. That is what happens with a team that let Ozzie Smith and Ozzie Guillen get away in the 1980s.