In my final year of collecting in 1997, my favorite players was Jose Canseco. There was no doubt about it. That didn’t mean I didn’t follow other players, though. One of the guys I expected Jose would pass the torch to was a kid by the name of Jose Cruz Jr. While I did have great collections of Tony Clark & Ben Grieve, Cruz Jr. to me was the future of baseball. In some ways, you can say he lived up to some of that hype, putting together a great “30-30” season by the time he was 27 but to be honest, things just didn’t play out in Jose’s favor.
He’s a lifetime .247 hitter and has never once driven in 100 RBI or even scored that many in his eleven seasons in the Bigs. Finally, despite having seven years in which he struck out 100 times or more, he’s only reached the 30 home run plateau twice.
With all that baggage, somehow the Astros took a chance on Jose in 2008 and it almost paid off when Cruz Jr. led the entire team in RBI’s during Spring Training. Unfortunately, since then he’s been a disaster. Jose has been used mostly off the bench this year and in the past seven games not counting last night he’s had no hits and as of June 1st had a .114 average for the season. As much as I’d like him to snap out of it, I just don’t think he can getting just one at bat every 2-3 games. Houston is either going to have to cut him or give him a straight week of starting because what is happening now must be torturous on a man once called the next Ken Griffey Jr. and just devastating to his fans.
Besides, the Astros are 7 games out of first place. What harm could a week do? If they are lucky, Jose will find the swing that made Ken Griffey Jr. tremble in his boots back in 1997 when Jose first joined the wild world of baseball.