Chicago Cubs: Five underrated hitters from recent history
Chicago Cubs: Mark DeRosa
For years, Mark DeRosa was a utility player for the Atlanta Braves, and while he was a decent hitter, he didn’t do much to stand out. After the 2004 season, he signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers, and in 2006, at age 31, he broke out, getting a lot more playing time. That year, he batted .296 with 13 home runs, 40 doubles, and 74 RBIs.
From that, DeRosa was able to get a free-agent deal with the Cubs. He had a tremendous first season with the Cubs in 2007, batting .293 with 10 home runs and 74 RBIs. DeRosa also displayed a lot of value in the field; though he primarily played second base, he saw action all around the diamond, providing some versatility for manager Lou Piniella.
DeRosa was then a vital part of the Cubs’ powerhouse offense of 2008 as the team comfortably won the division. That year, he batted .285 with 21 home runs and 87 RBIs, the latter of which would be a career-high. He again displayed a lot of versatility in the field as well.
As we know, the Cubs were quickly ushered out of the playoffs in both 2007 and 2008, getting swept in the first round. In what was perhaps an overreaction to that, general manager Jim Hendry decided to shake things up. He traded DeRosa to the Cleveland Indians for Chris Archer, John Gaub, and Jeff Stevens. DeRosa had another great year in 2009 between Cleveland and St. Louis, and he played for a few different teams up until 2013.
When thinking about those 2007-2008 teams, we often remember Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and Alfonso Soriano, among others. Yet we can’t forget DeRosa; he was a crucial contributor in the Cubs’ lineup.