Jose Bautista's Home Runs: Well-Traveled, To Say The Least

Until this year the Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista, currently second in the American League in home runs, was best known for something that happened in the NL Central. In 2004, a Pirates farmhand, he was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the Rule 5 draft and broke camp with them. He played in 16 games before the Orioles realized they weren't that into him, and by June the Tampa Bay Formerly Devilish Rays had selected him off waivers. That lasted 25 days, and 12 games, at which point the Kansas City Royals purchased him, and got him into 13 more games. He seemed to have a very brief, very definite shelf life, at the time. 

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It gets more complicated. On July 30, having already played for three teams, Bautista was traded by the Royals to the New York Mets, in exchange for former top prospect Justin Huber. The same day the Pirates, who had yearned for Bautista ever since they'd left him unprotected in the Rule 5 draft, traded Kris Benson to the Mets for Ty Wigginton. Included as a throw-in: Jose Bautista. All the Pirates had to do to prevent all this strife? Put Jose Bautista on their 40-man roster before the season began. In 2004, his rookie year, Jose Bautista played 64 games for five teams. 

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Jose Bautista's started four years since the, two-and-a-half of them for the Pirates, but until 2010 that was the most noteworthy thing he'd ever done. This May Jose Bautista hit 12 home runs, within four of his career high to that point. Now he has 18, tops on a team that can't stop hitting home runs. This is what Cardinals pitching will deal with: Bautista has 18 home runs, Vernon Wells 16, Alex Gonzalez 13, John Buck 12... a .240 batting average, and a .209 isolated power. I hope you like the Three True Outcomes. 

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