Brad Hawpe is another classic example a borderline statistical commodity trying to rebuild his value in a new setting.
He got lost in the Colorado outfield shuffle last season. He moved on to Tampa Bay, where he played part-time in the loaded Rays line-up.
Now Hawpe, who drove in 116 runs for Colorado back in 2007, hopes to reestablish himself as an everyday player in San Diego. He is moving back to his original defensive position, first base, to fill a major lineup hole for the Padres.
“I'm not replacing Adrian Gonzalez,” Hawpe told reporters after signing. “He's a heck of a first baseman. I'm just going to go out and do my thing.”
PETCO Park is where fly balls go to die. But the left-handed Hawpe has actually hit pretty well there – batting .281 with a .371 on-base percentage, five home runs and 21 RBIs in 153 at-bats during his career.
“I really enjoy that ballpark,” Hawpe said. “If you're talking about hitting, the first thing I notice is the ability to see the baseball. I think San Diego is right up there with their backdrop. I've always enjoyed it there.”
Hawpe, 31, is a good bet to improve on last season’s meager production (.245, nine home runs, 44 RBIs). As a career .279 hitter, he should be worth an end-of-the-draft pick or a modest auction bid for the 2011 season.
Here are some other players looking to rebuild their fantasy value.