Pivotal season awaits Broussard

Cleveland Indians first basemen Ben Broussard is facing a do or die situation this season with the Tribe. Broussard, who batted .255 with 19 home runs and 68 RBI last season, has been given the starting first base job the last couple years simply because the Indians didnít have a better option. But with highly regarded prospect Ryan Garko close to major league ready, Broussard is going to be under close watch this season.

Whether he is feeling the pressure or not, Ben knows he needs to improve and has worked hard in the offseason with hitting coach Derek Shelton on his mental approach to the game. The 29-year-old lefty has struggled putting up consistent power numbers over his career. First base is considered a power position and Broussardís numbers are well below that of your typical American League first basemen. He has shown in his short Major League career that he can be productive in streaks but has been unable to sustain it for an entire season. His on-base percentage and batting average were close to last among American League first basemen last season and he has shown he is susceptible to the strikeout.

Perhaps an offseason of greater preparation and film study can get Broussard back to his 2004 form when he hit .275 and drove in 82 runs. If Benny continues to struggle, we may see Garko in an Indians uniform sooner rather than later.

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