Sunday, July 01, 2007

Royals Await Mark Teahen's Second Half Push

If any doubt had remained whether Royals slugger Mark Teahen would be able to make the conversion from third base to the outfield, he has certainly erased it by going 42 games without an error until Sunday's 3-1 loss to the White Sox. It was just his second on the season.

Teahen is hitting solidly in the .290 range with a handful of homers, but as his fielding becomes less and less of a concern look for him to turn it up a notch or two at the plate after the All-Star break. Teahen, 26, is just coming into his prime and has benefitted recently by hitting in front of rising rookie Alex Gordon, who is beginning to find his stroke.

Last-half acceleration is nothing new to Teahen, as he bounced back from a slow start to hit better than .300 with nearly an RBI per game after the All-Star break last year, finishing his season at .290 with 18 homers and a .540 slugging percentage. Those numbers and better should be well within his grasp.