Can Adrian Gonzalez rebound?

He's been better lately, but there are still signs of a troubling approach

Updated: July 8, 2012, 8:49 PM ET
By Eric Seidman | FanGraphs
Adrian GonzalezThearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesFor Boston to make a serious run at the playoffs, it needs to see the old Adrian Gonzalez.

The Boston Red Sox are a disappointing 43-42 this season, with a one-game lead against the Toronto Blue Jays for fourth place in the AL East, 8.5 games out of first. However, despite their pitching struggles and numerous injuries, especially in the outfield, the Red Sox are merely 2.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the second wild-card spot. As Jacoby Ellsbury gets back into the swing of things and Dustin Pedroia returns from the disabled list, the Sox could make a serious postseason push.

But it would certainly help if Adrian Gonzalez was hitting at his normal level.

Through 83 games and 370 plate appearances, Gonzalez is hitting a measly .284/.330/.417. While his .322 weighted on-base average meets the league average, he is a far greater hitter than that -- he has a career .371 wOBA and a .395 mark in the past three seasons. Projection systems, which are based heavily on historical data, see Gonzalez rebounding nicely in the second half of the season.

But there is no guarantee that he completely rebounds, and the possibility still exists that he'll finish the year with a drastically lower wOBA. Whether he finishes the season hovering around a .320 wOBA or closer to the .340 that ZIPS projects, his current and potential drop offs are worthy of investigation.