10 Players To Wonder Abou1

April 04, 1991|By Peter Schmuck

* BARRY BONDS -- The best player in the National League last year is the unhappiest player in the major leagues this year. Bonds has been feuding openly with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization since he lost his salary arbitration case.

* DARREN DAULTON -- The Philadelphia Phillies gave Daulton a three-year contract worth $6.75 million and helped kick off another free agent free-for-all last November. Will it prove to be a worthwhile investment or another Philly front office folly?

* CRAIG WORTHINGTON -- The Sporting News named Worthington its American League Rookie of the Year in 1989. He responded with a forgettable sophomore season and must prove he deserves a place in the Baltimore Orioles starting lineup.

* DAVE PARKER -- The California Angels have done it again. They traded a piece of their youth movement for the chance to put together one big season. But does Parker have one big season left in his 40-year-old frame?

* MICKEY TETTLETON -- The Orioles' home run leader of 1989 set a major league record for strikeouts by a switch hitter (160) in 1990. Now he has joined a Detroit Tigers team that also features strikeout-prone Cecil Fielder and Rob Deer.

* DEVON WHITE -- Not many players have the pure physical ability of White, but the California Angels got so exasperated with him that they traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays in December. He has played very well this spring. Could this be the year he becomes a superstar?

* GEORGE BELL -- The last time the Chicago Cubs imported a marquee free agent from Canada, Andre Dawson was named NL MVP his first year with the club. Now 1987 AL MVP George Bell will try to do the same. Will he bounce back from the worst run-production year of his career?

* KIRK GIBSON -- The Kansas City Royals signed Gibson to a healthy contract in spite of the leg problems that hampered him the last two years with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, without Bo Jackson, they need him to produce.

* MARK DAVIS -- The biggest free-agent flop of 1990, Davis signed a four-year, $13 million contract to be the Royals stopper. Instead, he was 2-7 with a 5.11 ERA and six saves.

* NICK ESASKY -- The Atlanta Braves signed Esasky to a big free-agent contract after his fabulous 1989 season, but he missed almost the entire 1990 season with vertigo. It is uncertain how much he'll be able to play this year.

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