There are quite a few rumors going on that Jose Bautista, the Blues Jays home run machine (that sounds so weird to say), is on some kind of performance enhancing drug.  If this were 10 years ago, no one would care, they would just keep rooting him on to hit homer after homer.  However in this day and age, I have to wonder how he is doing it.

How a player who is 29 suddenly go from a 15 homer run hitter to 40+?  The old proverb, “History repeats itself” comes into play here.  Think back to Brady Anderson who underwent the same metamorphosis.  We found out later it was chemically induced.  I think when all is said and done we might be looking at the same thing here.  I am not saying he is on PEDs, but in my opinion if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

Oddly his batting average hasn’t increased and his strikeout rate hasn’t decreased (things you notice with PED usage).  He seems to be the same kind of hitter but with 3 times as much power.  So it’s not like he changed his batting stance, or developed a quicker reflex, as you would see a difference in his average and strikeout rates.  It just seems that he has more strength.

Usually a player begins to peak at 26.  It is possible that Bautista was a late bloomer, but it seems far fetched.  I think in this day and age, players are guilty until proven innocent. It hasn’t hurt the sales of his cards though.  His Bowman rookie autograph has been selling like crazy lately for between $25 – $40.  It’s nuts because not more than a year ago, they could be had for a dollar each.  Which by the way, I feel will be the price of his autographs after everything is over and done.

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4 responses »

  1. Flash says:

    In his defense he said he worked with the hitting coach to change his timing. He now swings a little earlier which makes sense because most of his home runs are pulls. I was thinking about the steroid thing when he started this streak, I picked him up in my fantasy league so I know how he’s been all season. He’s been mashing all year long and hasn’t slumped much. But he’s like other power hitter where it’s feast or famine, it’s either a HR or nothing.

  2. Colt Seavers says:

    Bautista re-worked his approach at the plate near the end of last season. Cito Gaston & hitting coach Dwayne Murphy noted that he was starting his swing late & consequently was fouling off pitches a very high percentage of time. Baseball is littered with outliers & statistical oddities besides Brady Anderson. Look at Davey Johnson’s 1971 season compared to the rest of his career. Look at the wildly higher HR totals for Bert Campaneris in 1970, Wade Boggs in 87′ & Roger Maris in 61′. All those players had massive, one year spikes in power compared to their career norms. These things have happened throughout baseball history & while it’s true that things will be viewed differently in light of steroids – these sorts of bizarre increases can & have happened naturally.

    I don’t expect Bautista to hit 40 HR’s next year – but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he were to hit 20-30.

  3. Chris C. says:

    I belive in giving everyone the benifit of the doubt, once. I think you should give Jose Bautista a chance. It’s human nature to want to get better with something they feel passionate about, LIKE THIS BLOG SITE! If Bautista is cheating, wouldn’t he have been caught and supended by now?

  4. Jeff says:

    I agree with everything that Colt and Flash said about Bautista changing his swing/approach at the plate. Also, this power surge of Bautista actually started the last 4-6 weeks of last year. That is when Dwayne Murphy’s changes took started paying dividends. Another thing that has to be factored in is that he is getting regular playing time which he hadn’t in the past. This allowed him to consistently working on the changes in his swing.

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