05/13/2013 05:05 pm ET Updated Jul 13, 2013

The Resurgence of Nate McLouth

It wasn't too long ago that Nate McLouth was one of the more exciting, young outfielders in baseball. In 2008, McLouth-in his fourth major league season-posted a 125 OPS+, 26 HR, and 23 SB campaign for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The then 26 year-old also led the league with 46 doubles.

Perhaps channeling incredible foresight, the Pirates dealt the recently-extended McLouth mid-2009 to the Atlanta Braves for a package of prospects. At the time, it seemed as though the Braves had acquired a franchise cornerstone -- but unfortunately, it couldn't have been further from the case.

Despite swatting a respectable 104 OPS+ in the second half of 2009 for the Braves, McLouth combined for a putrid 79 OPS+ over the next two seasons. After a forgettable second, short stint with the Pirates in 2010 (10 OPS+ in 62 PAs), the Baltimore Orioles threw the hitter a lifeline. In 236 PAs, mostly against right-handed pitching, McLouth swatted a respectable 111 OPS+-his highest rate since the first half of the rest of this article on Guy Speed.