With Spring Training right around the corner, I will start projecting the Cubs players by the position they play. First up, are the outfielders.
“Fonzi” is heading into this season, knowing that he will be the batting in the middle of the order for the whole season. The Cubs are hoping that he can have a rebound year from last season as he hit a weak .241 with 20 homers and 55 rBI’s. He battled with knee problems for most of the season, and hopefully the knee surgery he had late in the season last year will help him return to form.
Cubbies Crib 2010 Projection: .265 AVG, 30 Homers, and 83 RBI’s
Marlon Byrd is essentially replacing Milton Bradley in the lineup for the Cubs. The Cubs are depending on him to be a run producer, as he is expected to hit 5th in the lineup behind Lee, and Ramirez. Byrd might not be the power threat most fans want, but coupling him with Rudy Jaramillo should allow Byrd to continue his success in Chicago.
Cubbies Crib 2010 Projection: .292 AVG, 18 Homers , and 77 RBI’s
Kosuke is expected to spend sometime in the leadoff spot this year, as well as sometime as the #2 hitter. The Cubs are still waiting for signs of the player they thought they were getting when they signed him in 2008, but I have not seen anything to make me believe that we will ever see that player. However he still is a serviceable platoon outfielder.
Cubbies Crib 2010 Projection: .260 AVG, 12 Homers, and 65 RBI’s
Nady, maybe the most intriguing player on the Cubs roster. Because when he is healthy, he has the skill set to win over the the starting spot in right field, but he is coming off his second career tommy john surgery. It is likely that Nady starts the year as the other platoon outfielder in right field, as he will start against left handed pitchers. But I would not be surprised to see him be named the starter eventually, if Kosuke struggles early in the season.
Cubbies Crib 2010 Projection: .289 AVG, 20 Homers, and 73 RBI’s
The young outfielder that became an instant fan favorite last year, probably will see limited playing time. The Cubs will mainly use him as a late inning pinch runner, or possibly defensive replacement. His spot on the team is in question though, depending on what combination of Micah Hoffpauir, Chad Tracy, Bryan LaHair, and Kevin Millar make the team.
Cubbies Crib 2010 Projection: .267 AVG, 15 Stolen Bases
Next Week: The Infielders