A preseason favorite of many to build on his breakout 2015 campaign, Justin Bour was headed in that direction before an ankle injury forced him to the disabled list in early July. At the time, he had slugged 15 homers, pacing past the previous season's 23. Bour was activated in early September, appearing in 22 more contests but failed to add onto his homer total. In fact, he swatted only three extra-base hits in the last month. The lefty has slugged all 38 of his home runs off righty throwers the last two seasons, which largely explains why he's strictly a platoon player. Keep in mind that the right field fences in Marlins Park were brought in and lowered prior to the 2016 season. The venue still depresses lefty power but not to the same extent as before. Bour should again be a target for those looking for cheap power at corner or utility without dampening batting average.
Bour went 2-for-3 with a walk and a double in Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Nationals. He's had a fairly quiet spring so far, posting a .243/.333/.432 line in 37 at-bats that's not too far off his production through the first 258 games of his big league career. The Marlins aren't exactly flush with hitting prospects, so Bour has plenty of job security at first base in Miami, but the 28-year-old will need to learn to start hitting left-handed pitching if he's going to establish himself as a long-term answer for the club.
Bour went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run, his second blast of the spring, in Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Mets. Impressively, the homer came against Noah Syndergaard, although the Mets' ace was fading fast in the fourth inning in his return to action from a bout of bronchitis. Bour is hitting just .207 through 29 spring at-bats and has yet to have a multi-hit day, but Monday's long ball might be a sign he's beginning to lock in his swing.
Bour hit fifth in Saturday's Grapefruit League opener against the Cardinals, going 1-for-2 with a solo home run. The blast came off St. Louis closer Seung Hwan Oh, making for an impressive start to Bour's spring campaign. Injuries limited the 28-year-old to 90 games last season, but his .264/.349/.475 slash line was a step up from his rookie performance in 2015 thanks to an improved walk rate, and if he continues hitting behind Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton during the regular season, he should be able to top his career high of 73 RBI.
Bour may not have a regular platoon partner at first base this season, requiring him to face left-handed pitchers more often. He's a career .223/.273/.291 hitter against lefties with no home runs in 103 at-bats over three seasons, and that performance will have to improve if he's going to take advantage of any additional opportunities against them in 2017. Even so, the Marlins seem inclined to carry an extra arm in their bullpen rather than a bat on their bench, which could leave starting catcher J.T. Realmuto as Bour's primary backup -- and force the 28-year-old slugger to sink or swim against same-side pitching.
Bour went 3-for-3 with a single, a double, and a triple Monday against the Mets, scoring twice and driving in one. Bour entered Monday mired in an 0-for-17 slump, but broke out in a big way against Bartolo Colon and the Mets. The triple was Bour's first of the season, and the double he hit in the second inning was his first extra-base hit since June 30, although he missed roughly two months with an ankle injury. He's now batting .254/.336/.473 on the year.