Carlos Quentin Off To Great Start With Padres

After coming over to the Padres from the White Sox in the offseason for two minor leagues, Carlos Quentin disappeared from fantasy radar when he underwent knee surgery in March. Originally expected back in late April, Quentin did not make his Padre debut until May 28. Four years removed from his breakout year of 2008 and now playing home games in San Diego’s extreme pitcher’s park, expectations were tempered for the oft-injured Quentin, who turns 30 in August.
But in his first nine games back, Quentin hit .484 with five homers. His OPS was 1.640. Plenty of the damage was even done in San Diego, where Quentin hit .400 with two homers and an OPS of 1.337.
Nine games is a small sample size, but it should be noted that Quentin has faced mostly quality starting pitchers: Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Shaun Marcum, Ryan Dempster, Jeff Samardzija, Daniel Hudson and Wade Miley.
Final year of contract
Quentin’s fast start in San Diego has raised speculation that he could be traded.  Quentin is making $7 million in 2012 and will be a free agent at the end of the year.
If the Padres put Quentin on the market, he could be a hot commodity for teams that remember when he looked like a star in the making in 2008 when he had 36 homers, 100 RBI, hit .288 and had a .965 OPS. Quentin played only 130 games because he missed the last month with a fractured wrist, but still finished fifth in voting for American League MVP.
But injuries limited Quentin to an average of 116 games the next three years.  Though he still managed at least 20 homers each season, his highest batting average during that time was just .254.
Quentin’s power was helped by playing home games at U.S. Cellular. In 857 at bats, Quentin had 59 homers (one homer every 14.5 at bats) along with 162 RBI.
Could be traded
While Quentin is unlikely to come near those statistics in San Diego, a deadline trade to a team with a friendlier ballpark, such as the Yankees or the Red Sox, could once again make him a good source for power.
The Padres have one of the worst records in baseball. Even though Quentin has cooled off from his red-hot early pace, the possibility of a deadline deal to a better ballpark and better lineup makes him someone for fantasy owners to keep an eye on.
Ben Hargrove is a top fantasy baseball expert for sites like DraftStreet, a popular fantasy sports website.