Chase Headley will be the first to tell you he had no idea what to expect from teammate Carlos Quentin last season, especially after Quentin missed the first 49 games of the season while recovering from knee surgery in March.
But one thing is for certain: Headley wasn't expecting to see Quentin hit three doubles with three home runs and six RBIs in his first three games out of the chute during a May series at Wrigley Field.
"I remember specifically telling him he was the best hitter that I had ever seen," said Headley, the Padres third baseman.
"The first three games that I saw him play, every ball that he hit was squared up. Left field, right field -- it didn't matter. He was just hammering balls."
Quentin finished the season with 16 home runs and 46 RBIs in 86 games, producing a .877 OPS all while essentially playing on one good knee, as the right knee he had surgery on in March continued to give him fits as the season wore on, keeping him from playing left field more than he would have preferred.
"It's a frustrating thing, because you want to be out there playing," he said. "The older you get, the more you realize how important health is. When you're younger, you don't think it's going to affect you at all. Now that I'm 30, I want to work toward feeling better, and my focus this winter was on being able to do that."
Read more: San Diego left fielder Carlos Quentin is looking to stay healthy, produce power for Padres | MLB.com: News