Thursday, June 11, 2009

Power Stroke Continues to Elude Derrick Lee

During his team's recent stopover at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Cubs first baseman Derrick Lee attempted to take advantage of the short fences to practice his power stroke.

Lee repeatedly reached the stands during batting practice, with some balls traveling well beyond 400 feet. However, once play started Lee again morphed into a six-foot-five, 200-pound singles hitter with gap power and little more.

Though Lee's average is now approaching a respectable .270 after a slow start, his home run count languishes in single figures, as he manages to hit one in only about every 30 atbats, well less than half the pace of the 30-40 annual outputs that preceded his 2007 wrist injury.

Lee has failed to hit more than 22 homers since 2005, when he belted 46. At 33, his days as a power hitter may be over.