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Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Whither Howie Kendrick?

MLB FanHouse's Andrew Johnson asks a good question: What happened to Howie Kendrick? Let's mostly dispense with the "just not that good" theory. I mean, maybe he's "just not that good" right now, and in fact that seems fairly obvious. But Kendrick batted .360 in the minors, and that includes a .357 mark in Triple-A. Throughout his four-and-a-half seasons in the minors, he always hit. Granted, as he moved up the ladder he mostly stopped drawing walks, which was (or should have been) a bit worrying. But .360's .360.

More to the point, in Kendrick's first full season in the majors he did bat .322, he did look good at second base, and he was only 23. After that season, I would have bet you three dollars that Kendrick was going to play in a few All-Star Games. At least a few.

Now? I might bet you a dollar, and I might lose. Kendrick certainly was that good ... but it's not clear that he's healthy enough to be that good again.