Magglio Ordoñez #30
- Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 215
- 2008 Stats: .317 – 21 HR – 103 RBI
Few hitters can weather a 50-point drop in batting average and still be within shouting distance of a batting crown. But that’s how 2008 shaped up for Tigers rightfielder Magglio Ordoñez.
The 2007 A.L. batting champ served up an encore performance in 2008: .317, fifth in the league, 22 home runs and 103 RBI. Certainly, having Miguel Cabrera batting ahead of him helped Ordoñez see more strikes in 2008, but since joining Detroit in 2005 all he’s done is hit.
Last season, Ordoñez fluctuated from month to month — .296 in April, .350 in May; .266 in June, .386 in July — but finished the season strong, batting .330 in the second half and mounting a credible defense of his batting title.
Ordoñez is a top-tier hitter thanks to a stroke that can deftly handle pitches across the strike zone, but the closer the pitch is to the inner-half of the plate the better. Like most power hitters, he can crush a fastball but he takes more delight in change-ups from righties — a .407 average when he hits one — and curves from southpaws, an astounding .600 clip.
At 35, Ordoñez shows no sign of slowing and looks at home as the Tigers’ cleanup hitter. And that should worry A.L. pitchers, again, in 2009.