Chicago Cubs: Derrek Lee
The Cubs’ Derrek Lee was impressive, and his 2005 season was his most remarkable. In fact, he should’ve have won the Most Valuable Player. He led the league in average (.335), doubles (50), hits (199), SLG% (.662), OPS (1.080), OPS+ (174) and total bases (393). He ‘lost’ to Albert Pujols and Andruw Jones. Both excellent, but both on the wrong end of the stick.
Lee had two All-Star appearances, three Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger Award. He also finished with four appearances on the MVP list, including third. He broke his wrist in two places, but it didn’t hurt him at all. Although he only played 50 games in 2006, he rebounded in 2007 to play 150 games–and then 141+ each additional season with the Cubs.
He later would go on to the Atlanta Braves, where he would have a good year. But the Orioles and the Pirates would not go as smoothly, and he retired from Pittsburgh. But the Cubs? Man, he was good for them—a class act.