Nick Swisher Is the New Carlos Quentin

Next Big Thing is MLB FanHouse's look at emerging teams, trends and stars in 2009.

The ironic part about proclaiming Nick Swisher the new Carlos Quentin is that one person found his career renaissance coming to the White Sox, while the other hopes to find his higher ground away from Chicago. And the two trips might not be mutually exclusive. But that's exactly what we're sayin': Swisher seems likely to have that career upturn that comes with a change of scenery in 2009.

Where Quentin only needed a chance to play regularly, Swisher's needs are a bit different. He had already had a chance to be a successful everyday player in the league and capitalized on it in Oakland. Swisher hit 35 home runs in Oakland in 2006 and had an OPS of .863, and followed that up with another season with another .800 OPS season in which he walked 100 times. But in '08 came a trade to the White Sox, which sat as well with him as salmonella. He was bounced all over the lineup after a slow start to the season, and Ozzie Guillen admitted that he used him wrong.

While there's no guarantee that a second change of scenery will do the trick, we're thinking so. For one thing, with Mark Teixeira at first base, there's one less position that Swisher will have to worry about. And with the guys that the Yankees have in their lineup, not only will there be a few less lineup slots for Swisher to negotiate, but there will be a few more fastballs to see.

And that's big because the one part of Swisher's game that didn't suffer in Chicago was his batting eye. His on base percentage was still over 100 points higher than his batting average, which should go up from last season's .219 with a steadier diet of fastballs. Playing in the same position and around the same half of the lineup, along with not having to bat leadoff, will help Swisher settle in and just be himself. Trust me, that will be easy on the Yankees, where the gossip that swirls around that team will make Guillen's adventures seem like having lemonade with grandpa.

Nick Swisher Is the New Carlos Quentin originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Fri, 30 Jan 2009 13:00:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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