It’s now or never for Dallas McPherson

6 06 2008

Potential is the most important word that can come out of Major League scout’s mouth. In 2001 it was uttered enough times that the Anaheim Angels drafted a 20-year old kid named Dallas in the second round. By the age of 23 he was ready for “the show”, carrying with him plenty of experience, tape-measure home run power, and a couple of Minor League Player of the Year awards after putting up back to back 40 home run seasons.

Unfortunately, potential isn’t always a guarantee and for some, it takes a little extra time to live up to it. For every 19-year old Andruw Jones who become legends of the game before they can grown beards, there is a 30-something former phenom struggling to survive in the Minors. While Dallas didn’t exactly impress anyone in the 16 games he played in 2004, he was still given another shot the next year and it paid off, sort off. For the first time he showed some of the pop that had made him a legend in the Minors, but he also struck out 64 times in 61 games. Before he was able to improve on those numbers, he went down with a hip injury.

In 2006 the Angels had no place for Dallas and bounced him around from the Minors to the Majors and by season’s end only gave him 115 at-bats, which resulted in 7 home runs and 13 RBI. Dallas was suffering, though and no one knew it but him. By the time the prognosis came through, he had no choice but to miss the entire 2007 season after having back surgery to fuse two vertebrae in his spine. Throughout the entire ordeal, the Angels cut McPherson loose. His career seemed all but over until December of 2007 when he signed with the Florida Marlins, a team in dire need of offense after losing their chubby, home run machine in Miguel Cabrera.

When Dallas showed up to Spring Training in 2008 he wanted nothing more than to impress the team and win the third base job left behind by Cabrera but suffered through nagging injuries and lost out to the suddenly-revived Jorge Cantu. Once again, Dallas made his way to the Minors, this time in Albuquerque with the Isotopes, a Triple A affiliate.

Healthy again, Dallas has crushed 19 home runs in just 52 games. It’s hard for any team to ignore a power-hitter who can crush the ball like Dallas can but with the Marlins miraculously in contention through 1/3 of the season every single move counts and there is no rooms for mistakes. Will the Florida Marlins give this 28-year old his final shot at stardom? Or will it be another season of setting records he’s already walked all over for most of the last decade? Only time will tell, but if I were you I’d pick up a couple of his rookie cards just in case.


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