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Jose Bautista, the player who came from nowhere last year to lead the majors with 54 home runs and sign a $65 million, five-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, has become the most fearsome hitter in MLB, something to consider when betting on baseball.
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Never heard of Bautista? The 30-year -old star batter made his debut with the Baltimore Orioles on April 4th, 2004. Two months later, Bautista was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Rays and then traded to the Kansas City Royals on June 28.
Kansas City traded him to the New York Mets who shipped him to Pittsburgh Pirates, where he spent three seasons. Although it was not until he was traded to Toronto, on August 21, 2008, that he found a home.
Until last year, Bautista had never hit more than 16 homers in any of his six previous seasons. However, this season he has already set the pace with 29 homers to go along with a .333 batting average, some 80 points higher than his career average of .254.
In addition, in 2010 Bautista was left out of the Home Run Derby despite his impressive home run total, but for this year he was selected as the first member of the American League squad.
With more home runs than any other major-leaguer over the past 18 months, Jose Bautista set a new MLB record for most All-Star Game votes with 7.4 million votes, nearly 1.3 million more than the previous mark set by the Seattle Mariners' Ken Griffey Jr. in 1994.
Jose Bautista has become the first Blue Jays player selected as a starter for MLB All-Star Game since Carlos Delgado in 2003.