Vernon Wells: Comeback Player of the Year?
It is very early in the 2010 baseball season but Vernon Wells is the early favorite for the AL Comeback Player of the Year. Wells who signed a contract for seven years and $126 million prior to the 2008 season had underperformed in the first two years of the contract. His backloaded contract saw him earn only $500,000 in the first year of the contract in 2008.
His yearly salary jumps from $1.5 million in 2009 to $12.5 million in 2010 to $23 million in 2011. He then earns $21 million the last three years of the contract which ends in 2014.
He is currently leading the majors in home runs with 4, tied for the RBI lead with 7 with Miguel Cabrera and is second in batting average with a .600 average. He has batted only 13 times.
Wells had only 15 home runs and 66 RBI’s in 630 at bats in 2009. ESPN projects him to hit 216 home runs and drive in 378 runs this season.
Nobody expects him to actually have those kind of numbers at the end of the season but he still could have 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in by the end of the season.
He hit 32 homers and drove in 106 runs in 2006 but since then his numbers have fell alarmingly. He hit a home run every 19.1 at bats that year but hit a home run every 42 at bats in 2009 and is hitting a home run every 2.5 at bats this season.