I remember how excited I was by John Rodriguez's fast start when he came up to the majors mid-summer. But then I remember being disappointed by his power fade later in the season. After that experience with J-Rod, I've been wary of getting too excited by Chris Duncan's fast start.
Last night, Chris Duncan reached the same number of at bats in 2006 that John Rodriguez had in 2005 (149). This gives us a chance to compare roughly comparable sample sizes. Here are J-Rod's numbers in his 149 abs in 2005 after the fast start and fade (avg/obp/slg):
.295 .382 .436
Just for comparison, here is J-Rod in 158 abs in 2006:
.304. .379 .449
Here's Dunc's numbers through 149 abs in 2006:
.315 .376 .604
Two reactions. First, J-Rod has shown good consistency in getting on base. He shouldn't be in Memphis (but I'm preaching to the choir on this one). Second, Duncan has a power edge on J-Rod in a good size sample. We don't know how much of a boost Dunc gets from batting ahead of Pujols, but who cares? Keep him batting second. More evidence that we may have a bona fide cheap, homegrown solution to leftfield.