Jul 11, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians designated hitter Nick Swisher (33) celebrates after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Will Brandon Moss and Nick Swisher rediscover their lost power?
Richard Clark: My most improved player candidate, though he wasn’t on the Tribe last season, is Brandon Moss. His 2014 splits tell the whole story, as he got off to an incredible start batting .268 with 21 homers and 66 RBI en route to the All-Star game before injuring his hip and skidding to the finish line. His hip dropped his average to a dismal .173, with only four homers and 15 RBI. His two bombs in the Wild card game after receiving a cortisone shot, and his speedy return to this season’s Spring Training lineup are encouraging signs for Moss, and I believe he can sustain his first half production from 2014 over the course of a season with good health. Switching from the spacious Coliseum to lefty-friendly Progressive Field should boost his numbers as well. I envision Pronkville/Brohio becoming Mossville soon enough.
Brian Brochetti: Many may think be a bit silly to pick a 34-year-old on the bad side of double knee surgery to be this year’s most improved player, but Nick Swisher has the attitude and drive to not disappoint his “hometown” fans. The former first round pick of the Oakland A’s has averaged 27 home runs, 87 RBIs, and an OBP of .353 over his 11 year career. Last year, due to injuries, Swisher only played 97 games while sporting just eight home runs, 42 RBIs, and an OBP of .278. He is “grinding” (in his own words), and he is dying to get back on the field. When he does, I think Swisher will be even more appreciative of his opportunity and will make the most of it. Plus, baseball is a game of averages, and his numbers from last year are simply bound to improve.
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