Ibanez Defies Odds
HIGH FIVE to you if you drafted Raul Ibanez in 2013.
When your name is mentioned in the same breath as Ted Williams, you must be doing something right.
There’s no surprises out there any more with thousands of websites churning out tips and information daily on how to win your fantasy baseball league. And, as with fantasy baseball, and life in general, finding a diamond in the rough is what will get your team to the fantasy promised land.
One such surprise this year was 41-year-old Raul Ibanez. Ibanez belted his 29th home run of the season on Saturday night. That long ball is significant because it tied Ted Williams’ all-time record for most homers by a 41-year-old.
I must admit. I didn’t think Ibanez would have the kind of year that he had in 2013. Raul hit 19 homers last year for the Yankees plus 3 dramatic homers in the playoffs–one while pinch hitting for Alex Rodriguez. But, after being dealt to the Mariners and not having that short porch in right field on a team that would be building for the future, you would have had to expect his productivity to fall off. If you’re in to online betting, it’s probably not a bet you would have made to think that Ibanez would improve on his dramatic 2012 year.
But, it certainly did not. Always a stand-up guy in the clubhouse, Ibanez got off to a good start and never looked back. He will lead the Mariners in homers this year and will be third in RBI. His slugging percentage is currently at .505 after the weekend games.
Ibanez wants to play another season. “Yeah, I want to play another year,” Ibanez told MLB.com. “It’s not something I really dwell upon. It’s not something I mull over and lose sleep over because I’m in the moment right now. But yeah, if you asked me right now, I definitely want to play another year.”
Who might be interested in his talents as Ibanez clearly showed he was not washed up this season. Will you take a chance on Ibanez in 2014?