This article is part of our Rebound Candidate series.
It probably hurt Jose Bautista to flip his bat in 2016.
Maybe this shook him up. Or perhaps it was the message he sent to his fantasy baseball owners.
That sums up what many thought of his performance last year. After all, Bautista dealt with several dings and dents since 2015 and couldn't show the jaw-dropping power he's owned since his 2010 breakout, when the Blue Jays tweaked his swing and created a star.
Physical limitations – like many of the 2017 rebound candidates – all but surely contributed to his lowest home run total (22), batting average (.234), slugging percentage (.452) and OPS (.817), plus his highest strikeout rate (19.9 percent) since breaking out as a fantasy stud in 2010.
Awesome timing for a contract year, right? His market dried up, but the Blue Jays brought him back on a one-year deal.
Will the 36-year-old stay in shape to fight the aging curve and prove he belongs among fantasy elites again?
What went wrong
Bautista entered 2016 with lingering effects from a shoulder injury suffered the previous year. In June, he slammed his foot into an outfield wall and absorbed a toe injury that cost him 30 games. He then hurt his knee only two weeks after returning from that. After finally returning from that, he was limited in ability and playing time.
A bad shoulder and two lower-body issues will sap the power of any player, even one with Bautista's pedigree. As SportsNet's Arden Zwelling noted: