The torn hamstring stunted first baseman Chris Marrero's season before it really ever got started in 2012. His shoulder and hamstring slowed him down for much of the time and he never was able to feel 100 percent healthy for long periods of time last season.
Following 127 games for Triple-A Syracuse in 2011, he had to fight back from injury in 2012. Marrero ended up playing only 37 contests with the Chiefs last season.
So it certainly had to be refreshing for Marrero to work his way through spring training without a hitch this season, and his numbers are showing what kind of hitter he can be when he isn't trying to compensate for a nagging injury.
He has been very consistent the last week and a half.
Over the last nine games for Triple-A Syracuse, Marrero is batting .382 (13-for-34) with a double, a homer and five RBIs. Overall, Marrero has hit .333 (29-for-87) the first 25 games of the season. He has three doubles, one triple, six homers and 20 RBIs.
The six homers are a critical alert that Marrero is returning to full strength. In 2012, he had three homers in 53 games (180 at-bats). In 2011, Marrero hit 14 homers in the minors and none in 31 games with the Nationals.
His best season for power was 2007 with 23 homers. With six homers in first 25 games this season, he has a good chance to approach that career mark this time around.
If Marrero's power is back, and his on-base percentage is solid at .379, these signs point to the hitter that he was when healthy, and that drew so much attention for the Nationals to draft him in the first place.
The 24-year-old Marrero is keeping his head up, staying positive and making a good impression early this season. It will be exciting to see if he can keep this trend up and eventually get another shot with the Nationals down the road.