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November 2009

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State of the System: First Base

Written by , Posted in General

Before we continue the State of the System series with the first base position, I wanted to take a minute to remind you that we’re on Twitter. I would highly recommend following us, as I’m getting in the habit of posting things there a lot more often than here for the small things. It’s a great way to know when things break (including new posts) right as they go live. Just click the twitter icon to be taken to our page.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are the results for the qualifying 1B from this year, including the level(s) they played at.

Age PA ▾ R 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Lee, Derrek 33 MAJ 615 91 36 2 35 111 76 109 .306 .393 .579 .972
Ridling, Rebel 23 L-A 586 74 34 1 16 97 40 95 .310 .357 .466 .823
Fox, Jake 26 MAJ,AAA 435 67 26 3 28 97 35 78 .324 .393 .629 1.022
Rosa, Jovan 21 H-A,L-A 429 33 32 2 6 65 20 92 .251 .287 .387 .674
*Lalli, Blake 26 AA 412 49 25 0 5 52 32 50 .314 .372 .421 .793
#Craig, Matt 28 AAA,AA 412 48 24 1 11 46 33 71 .272 .333 .430 .763
*Opitz, Jake 22 H-A 405 45 21 5 2 36 39 56 .272 .347 .376 .724
Canzler, Russ 23 AA,H-A 375 41 23 1 8 49 38 65 .261 .337 .408 .745
*Hoffpauir, Micah 29 MAJ,AAA 347 40 16 1 13 48 26 58 .233 .291 .413 .704
*Bour, Justin 21 SS,ROK 269 24 17 0 4 40 25 45 .262 .335 .384 .719

Contract Info for 2010

Derrek Lee – Signed for $13 mil that includes no trade clause. He’ll be a free agent after 2010 season.

Jake Fox – Eligible for auto-renewal at league minimum due to less than 3 years of service time (out of minor league options)

Micah Hoffpauir – Eligible for auto-renewal at league minimum due to less than 3 years of service time (1 option year remaining)

Rule 5 Draft Eligible (Need to be added to 40 man roster to be protected) – Blake Lalli & Russ Canzler

Eligible to become Rule 55 Minor League Free Agent – Matt Craig

Positional Summary

This team has a choice coming up after this year and Lee’s return to glory in 2009 didn’t make that decision any easier. It doesn’t appear that there are any rising stars in the system at this position to take over for Lee right now, so you would have to imagine that either Lee will be re-signed short term (please don’t give him another no-trade) and a focus be put on bringing in talent at the position to the system, or Lee will be let go after the season and we’ll address the position via trade or free agency. As much as I like Jake Fox, he’s not the answer at the position, despite the fact that it’s his natural spot on the field.

Ryan Flaherty spoke very highly of a guy like Rebel Ridling, but with him being 23 years old and only playing his season in Low-A, I need to see a lot more this year for me to consider him a viable option to replace Lee in 2011. He came in at # 16 on Arizona Phil’s top 15 prospect list, so there is potential there. I really just need to see a big jump this year for me to take him serious enough to not worry we’ll be shallow at that position if we let Lee leave.

A name to watch, in my book, is Blake Lalli. He’s a contact hitter that plays good defense and doesn’t hit for much power. He’s not a starter, but probably someone worth a look if he doesn’t get picked in the Rule 5 draft. I don’t know that I’d protect him, but I’d be fine with looking at him for the roster in 2010 as a backup if someone like Fox or Hoffpauir under impress.

Overall Grade: C + (only because we have guys like Fox and Hoffpauir that are capable of playing at the ML level.

Potential Free Agents at 1B

Rich Aurilia (38)
Jeff Bailey (31)
Wilson Betemit (28)
Hank Blalock (29)
Russell Branyan (34)
Miguel Cairo (36)
Frank Catalanotto (36)
Tony Clark (38)
Carlos Delgado (38) – Type B
Nomar Garciaparra (36)
Ross Gload (34)
Eric Hinske (32)
Nick Johnson (31) – Type B
Adam LaRoche (30) – Type B
Doug Mientkiewicz (36)
Kevin Millar (38)
Fernando Tatis (35) – Type B
Chad Tracy (30)
Daryle Ward (35)
Dmitri Young (36)

  • Ridling looks like he needs to be in Daytona briefly and in Tennessee by June to make him jump on the future radar. No one else on that list excites me at all. Craig, Lalli and Canzler are system players and not much more. Oh, if Dopriak would’ve developed earlier, since I saw the Blue Jays had moved him on their 40-man.

    And if the Cubs’ minor league list isn’t uninspiring enough, the FA list is even worse. Thank goodness for Lee not being a FA this year, else he’d be the cream of the crop by far.

  • The youngest guy in the system is 21? This appears to be something that should be addressed in the draft next year.

    What are the chances Vitters could eventually play first? I know they’ve tried him the outfield but I haven’t heard anything about him at first. Kind of a shot in the dark, but if Derrek has another solid year, selling high on him may not be a bad idea…if we can find a viable replacement.

  • The youngest guy in the system is 21? This appears to be something that should be addressed in the draft next year.

    Actually, I only looked at guys with at least 200 plate appearances in 2009.

  • Seymour Butts

    Are we allowed to sell free agents? I’m not sure how that works.

    And Twitter? why not get a hold of a mimeograph machine. I used to love the smell of the solvent it used.

  • MJ

    why not get a hold of a mimeograph machine. I used to love the smell of the solvent it used.

    That explains soooooo much.

  • BuckeyeCub

    Several possible scenarios, before I begin, it doesn’t matter if Lee has a NTC or not. He has the 10-5 veto. Now:
    1. Adam Dunn is a FA after the 2010 season, possibly sign him to play 1B in 2011. Get him either way though, I want him on the Cubs
    2. There are some grumblings that Pujols might leave the Cardinals after 2011. Maybe give Lee a 1-year contract with the intention of getting Pujols? Plan B would be moving Dunn to 1B
    3. Move Ramirez to 1B, play Vitters at 3B