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Dallas McPherson: Is There Hope?

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Dallas McPherson (Image copyright 2006, used with permission)

Is There Any Hope For Dallas McPherson?

Let's break this down.

Three Reasons Why There Is No Hope

  1. McPherson has always had a high strikeout rate and was somewhat old for his leagues. His struggles in the majors last year and in Triple-A this year should have been expected.
  2. McPherson benefited from playing in minor league parks conducive to offense.
  3. McPherson can't hit breaking balls or changeups.
Three Reasons Why There IS Hope
  1. He's still 25, not young for a prospect but hardly old.
  2. Injuries bothered him all last season. Word from Anaheim and Salt Lake is that McPherson is still rusty from the time off and is pressing too hard, trying to hit five-run homers with every at-bat to get back to the majors.
  3. PECOTA comps include players such as Nick Esasky, Dave Kingman, Jay Buhner, Dean Palmer, Jesse Barfield, Gary Gaetti, and Pete Incaviglia, not superstars but all of them hit enough to be useful if deployed properly. PECOTA also includes Shane Andrews and Wes Chamberlain, but the other names were successful players.
There is no guarantee of success here. McPherson is having a rough start in Triple-A, and the strikeouts are scary (26 already in just 11 games). He might get buried as a "Quadruple-A" slugger in the eyes of baseball. But considering everything else he has done, there is still a not-unreasonable chance that he can rebound and live up to the potential he showed earlier. A change of scenery would likely be in order, however, to clear his head and open up more playing time. Getting away from third base and becoming a first baseman/DH might also help his bat, although that would also increase the pressure on him to hit.

So the bottom line is that, yes, there is hope.