Baseball players' careers rarely show up as perfect bell curves. You might see a player break in with a big rookie season, only to stagnate or regress over the next few years. Then just when you're ready to write off that player's chances for stardom, the breakout comes.
This is the Carlos Santana story. This season it might also be the story of the Cleveland Indians, one of the hottest teams in baseball and one of the biggest surprises of the early season, hot on the heels of the powerhouse Tigers.
Santana broke into the majors mashing, hitting .260/.401/.467 in 46 games and looking like an immediate star, a worthy successor to Victor Martinez as the weak-gloved catcher who more than made up for his lack of defense with a huge bat. In Santana's sophomore season of 2011, his power-hitting ability translating well over a full season, as he bashed 27 home runs; he also hit just .239, walked less often, and struck out more often. Last year, he walked more often and struck out less often, but his power dipped, and his overall numbers suffered.