If this was 2005, the title could have easily been “How GOOD were we?” As we all know, the Cubs had issues at first base due to injury and as a result, the numbers here are not representative of the Cubs talent at the position.
1. Albert Pujols – 85.4
National League pitchers find few ways to consistently retire Pujols. He can occasionally appear anxious on offspeed pitches away, a strategy Boston used with some success in the World Series. And it is sometimes possible to jam Pujols with high, hard stuff. However, he turns on the best hard stuff with amazing regularity, and pitching him away runs the risk of him using his remarkable power to the opposite field. Pujols has always been an outstanding breaking-ball hitter, and his mastery of the strike zone improves each year. ~ STATS Inc.
2. Ryan Howard – 81.5
Did Ryan Howard deserve the MVP over Albert Pujols? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this controversy that was the 2006 MVP race. Regardless of what your thoughts are, can you really argue against Howard becoming one of, if not the top hitter in the game very very soon? I can’t, so i’d like to hear your argument if you can.
3. Lance Berkman – 70.1
Berkman probably has the most raw power on the team and can swat home runs with a flick of his wrist. He also has exceptional hand-eye coordination, though it is much better lefthanded. He has a solid approach to hitting and usually doesn’t overthink it. He drives the ball to all fields well, hitting it the opposite way if you pitch him outside and cutting down on his swing if you pitch him inside. His weakness is hitting righthanded, and some wonder if he should stick strictly to lefthanded hitting. ~ STATS Inc.
4. Justin Morneau – 52
Morneau often took a big cut last season, making him susceptible to breaking pitches. By the end of the year, though, he was better at fouling off pitches that fooled him, which should make him a combative hitter who can draw walks when pitchers try to work around him. Morneau has tremendous power when he pulls the ball, but he can hit for average as well, and seems to be at his best when he waits on the ball and drives it to left-center and right-center. He showed a late-season tendency to cut down his swing with two strikes and serve the ball to the outfield to drive in runs. ~ STATS Inc.
5. Nick Johnson – 51
Johnson’s calling card is his understanding of the strike zone, but he does have decent home-run power. His problem has been staying healthy long enough for his power to fully develop. He’s been in the majors now for four years, and he finally topped 1,000 career at-bats just last year before his season ended. When healthy, he forces pitchers to throw strikes, smoking line drives to all fields when they do. He’s been used primarily as a No. 2 hitter because of his on-base skills and ability to make contact, but he should move down in the order as his power develops. ~ STATS Inc.
33. Derrek Lee – 7.5
Lee is a slashing, line drive hitter who hits the ball to all fields but was able to take advantage of Wrigley Field’s cozy left-center field power alley. He likes to get his arms extended, and he can be tied up inside and with high pitches. Manager Dusty Baker was able to use Lee as high as the No. 2 spot in the order because of his intelligent approach at the plate. ~ STATS Inc.