Josh Bell’s lack of power for the Cleveland Guardians was predictable.
There are some out there who are a bit surprised that Josh Bell is struggling as much as he is to hit home runs. To that, I say, “Why”? As in, why are you surprised? It was clear that he wasn’t going to be a huge home run hitter from the jump, a good 20 or so a year was what I expected. He’s on pace to something around those lines. Maybe 18 or so, when it’s all said and done.
Yet, many are scratching their heads, wondering why Bell isn’t hitting more home runs. Bell is older, already into his 30s, and in his last two years he hit just 17 home runs last year, and just 27 home runs the year before. His OPS is about where it was in 2021, and his slugging is actually up from his time in San Diego.
Nothing we’re seeing from Bell is that surprising, except that maybe his batting average is a bit lower than we’d hope, as he’s about 40 points lower than his average. So really, what were fans expecting? Free agents in baseball are unpredictable, and it’s why I often advocate for not signing big names to big deals. Those players rarely ever end up being worth it. Sometimes, guys like Bell aren’t worth it either.
Is that the case here? Well, maybe.
Josh Bell will only continue to disappoint Cleveland Guardians fans.
We already did the math when it comes to Bell, and historically he’s the type of hitter who starts off really well but falls off as the year goes on. So anyone thinking Bell will “break out” in the second half of the season may want to brace themselves for some serious letdown.
It’s possible he does break out in the second half of the year. Who knows what can happen? The Guardians could fire their hitting coach (they should fire their hitting coach) and a different mind may be able to unlock guys like Bell and Mike Zunino.
It’s also very likely that Bell is just a bad signing who gets traded for parts around the trade deadline. Both scenarios are just as likely as one another.