Sean Burroughs, if you'll recall, was once the fraught golden boy of early 2000s NL baseball—the smooth-swinging Padres third baseman who could only hit singles. (His career isolated slugging percentage, .078, is only a fuzz better than Juan Pierre's.) But Burroughs has since resuscitated his pro career after a period far murkier than a power drought.
Here's ESPN's Jim Caple, explaining the "before" of the redemption story:
And by the time Burroughs was 29, he was out of baseball, checking in and out of the cheapest motels he could find, wandering the streets of Las Vegas at all hours and abusing every substance he could ingest. He says he was living a "Leaving Las Vegas'' existence, a reference to the Oscar-winning and thoroughly depressing Nicolas Cage movie about a man who commits lengthy suicide via alcohol abuse. There was no Academy Award for this lifestyle, though. Burroughs says he was so desperate and paranoid that if you picked a couple particularly bad days in 2010, you could find this Little League hero, this Olympic gold medalist, this former big leaguer … eating cheeseburgers out of garbage cans. Yes, garbage cans.
"It was just one of those crazy kind of diets where I was drinking eight Slurpees a day and eating an In-N-Out burger whenever I could. I weighed 260 pounds or whatever [he weighs about 220 now]. I was out of shape with big, black bags under my eyes. Bad hair, hadn't shaved for weeks on end. Hadn't taken vitamins. Hadn't eaten anything other than french fries and Slurpees.
Unlike fellow rock-bottom-y late 90s first-rounder Josh Hamilton (who was drafted a year after Burroughs), Burroughs hasn't thanked God for his success, which is surprising, in the zealous world of sports comebacks. Less surprisingly, Burroughs still can't hit.