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November 2009

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State of the System: Second Base

Written by , Posted in General

We continue our state of the system series with a look at the second base position. Don’t forget to follow us on

In case you missed the first two editions of the series you can go back and review: Catcher / First Base

Age PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
*Fontenot, Mike 29 MAJ 419 38 89 22 2 9 43 4 1 35 83 .236 .301 .377 .677
Baker, Jeff 28 MAJ,AAA,H-A 281 31 72 18 2 5 26 1 0 23 57 .283 .345 .429 .774
#Miles, Aaron 32 MAJ,AAA 261 25 51 11 1 0 13 4 2 10 35 .209 .239 .262 .502
Rivas, Luis 29 AAA,win 224 24 50 17 2 1 20 3 0 21 19 .253 .324 .374 .698
Thomas, Tony 22 AA 497 66 107 24 1 11 41 13 13 50 106 .251 .341 .389 .730
Samson, Nate 21 H-A,AA 441 59 102 8 2 2 47 5 5 34 29 .261 .322 .307 .629
Made, Jose 23 H-A,L-A 72 6 13 0 1 0 6 0 2 3 20 .194 .239 .224 .463
*Flaherty, Ryan 22 L-A 543 81 134 24 5 20 81 7 6 50 98 .276 .344 .470 .814
*Watkins, Logan 19 SS 318 48 91 14 2 0 29 14 7 27 31 .326 .389 .391 .780
*Henry, Carlos 17 ROK 228 22 32 5 4 1 16 8 6 21 45 .162 .254 .242 .497
#Montecino, Jose 18 ROK 210 26 46 3 0 0 15 16 7 31 28 .272 .393 .290 .683
#Rodriguez, Jesus 17 ROK 197 28 35 2 1 0 9 16 6 28 53 .213 .326 .238 .564
#Kemp, Dwayne 21 ROK 109 13 25 2 6 1 12 2 1 6 25 .248 .303 .416 .719
Gonzalez, Gregori 19 ROK 107 8 19 3 0 0 8 9 6 6 22 .190 .234 .220 .454
Springfield, Blair 18 ROK 106 12 18 1 1 0 5 4 1 14 28 .202 .314 .236 .550
*Perez, Melido 18 ROK 25 2 7 0 2 0 1 1 1 2 6 .318 .400 .500 .900

Contract Info for 2010

Mike Fontenot – Eligible for arbitration due to Super Two Status (1 option year remaining)

Jeff Baker – Eligible for salary arbitration should the Cubs choose to offer. If he’s offered arbitration, the Cubs and his agent will submit a figure to the arbiter along with their case and it’s up to the arbiter to decide. The Cubs can also release him or choose to come to a salary agreement and avoid arbitration. Baker made $414K in 2009.

Aaron Miles – Signed at $2.7 mil for 2010. Will be a free agent at season’s end.

Eligible to become Rule 55 Minor League Free Agent: Luis Rivas & Nate Spears

Positional Summary

This is an interesting position, in my opinion. We have a bad contract that was supposed to be a good addition in Aaron Miles that will essentially waste a spot on the 40-man roster unless Hendry can somehow package him in a deal to someone to save the money. We have a guy in Mike Fontenot that appears to be a bench player with above average power that can’t handle a starting job (despite being a 1st round pick). And we have a guy in Jeff Baker, who came mid-season and actually played surprisingly well. Aside from those three, do you really see anyone in the minors who could forseeably make an impact in 2010? You could make a case that with a good start, Tony Thomas might merit a call up, but I’m not really buying.

An intriguing name for the future is Ryan Flaherty, who we had the priviledge of talking to early in the season last year. He comes in at # 11 in Arizona Phil’s top 15 list and had the following said about him:

Selected with the compensation draft pick the Cubs got for losing FA catcher Jason Kendall to MIL after the 2007 season, Flaherty played SS at Vanderbilt, 2B with Team USA, SS at Boise in 2008, SS, 2B, and 3B at Peoria in 2009, and then mostly 3B in the AZ Instructional League post-2009. His future is probably as an offensive-first multi-positional IF-OF. He hit 276/344/470 with 20 HR in 131 games at Peoria in 2009 (309/372/498 post-ASB), and then he had an impressive month at the plate in the AZ Instructional League. He has plus-power, and if he can learn to play a passable corner-OF, he could morph into a left-handed hitting version of Mark DeRosa. While he mashes right-handed pitching, he struggles against lefties (hitting just .219 vs LHP in 2009), and so he could end-up as a LH platoon guy at the higher levels. Son of a college baseball coach, Flaherty is a savvy and mature player who understands how to play the game the right way. I would expect Flaherty to begin the 2010 season at Daytona and play all over the place, although a jump over Daytona to AA Tennessee wouldn’t be a big surprise. – (Source)

Overall Grade: C + (I like Flaherty a lot and I think we’ve got a lot of under achievers so far in guys like Fontenot, Miles and Thomas)

Potential Free Agents at 2B
(Scott Boras Clients in Bold)

Ronnie Belliard (35) – Type B
Jamey Carroll (36)
Alex Cora (34)
Craig Counsell (39)
Mark DeRosa (35) – Type B
Nick Green (31)
Jerry Hairston Jr. (34)
Orlando Hudson (32) – Type A
Adam Kennedy (34)
Felipe Lopez (30) – Type B
Mark Loretta (38)
Pablo Ozuna (35)
Placido Polanco (34) – Type A
Luis Rodriguez (30)
Juan Uribe (31)

  • No contract is coming to either Fontenot or Baker, and much to some of my friend’s chagrin, it’ll be the lesser half of the Cajun Connection. Unless you can get him for $1 mil, Mike’s not sticking around. Maybe you can trade him for something before you let him go for nothing. Miles can only do better than last year, but if he stays the same, might as well cut bait.

    As for the system, Thomas might need a little more time in Tenn. Flaherty needs to have a short audition in Daytona, then both he and Thomas can move up a level. And maybe we should keep an eye on Watkins in his first full year of ball.

  • CubbieDude

    Is there a reason why Andres Blanco is not included here?

  • Joe

    Players are listed based on the position they appeared at most across the board. Blanco appeared more as a SS, so you’ll see him tomorrow.

  • Doc Raker

    Aaron Miles – Signed at $2.7 mil for 2010. Will be a free agent at season’s end.

    Oh Lord, I thought AAAron was only a one year signing, this is bad, very very bad.

    I think Jeff Baker won the job at 2b. I would like to see the Cubs pick up a stud SS and have TheRiot and Baker battle for 2b with TheRiot being able to play both middle infield positions.

  • Seymour Butts

    I like the act of placing Boras clients in bold. Perhaps they should instead be “dehighlighted” ( is that a word?) in some way as their choice of agent automatically makes them a less desirable target. Use Miles as a throw in for anyone willing to send back a bag of balls and 6 maple bats. If no takers, try throwing him in as a boat anchor, just get him off of the roster. He’s less desirable than Milton Bradley.

  • pkp73

    As a baseball fan, I can’t stand Boras. But, it can’t be denied that he gets his players PAID. Isn’t that his job? If I was a player, I’d definitely want Boras for an agent; I’d sleep on his porch and send him love letters. I like the highlighting too so that we know which guys are going to get better than market value. Again, can’t stand the guy, but it’s his job to get as much money as possible. I don’t blame anyone for signing with him. Honestly, I blame the players’ union for guys like Boras. If there was a salary cap the guy wouldn’t have any teeth. And the Yankees wouldn’t have won the World Series for the 612th time.

    DOWN WITH THE MLBPA! UP WITH SALARY CAPS!

  • BuckeyeCub

    How does Fontenot still have options? His first season on the MLB roster was 2005. Yet Felix Pie’s first season on the MLB roster was 2007 and after 2008 he was out of options. I don’t get it. Also, does super-2 status mean that instead of 3 arbitration years, players get 4 arbitration years?

    What’s with highlighting Bor-a$$? This isn’t the White Sox here. Hendry doesn’t have a personal vendetta with him the way the White Sox do

  • BuckeyeCub

    Side note on Boras, he used to play in the Cubs minor league system and the Cubs paid for him to go to law school

  • cap’n obvious

    The Cubs should pay Miles the 2.7 million to stay home.

  • Mastrick

    Another great analysis Joe. I’m not really in favor of going out to find another SS – you’re usually not going to get a great bat unless you pay the piper and even then you might not get better production than you currently get out of Theriot. Due strictly to performance issues I would not tender Fontenot; he earned a chance and didn’t deliver. Let Baker compete with another guy or use Blanco as a sub at both SS and 2B, I prefer the latter. Hoffpaiur and Fox should have to earn their way on to the 25 man this year and if they don’t a spring training trade would be in order; one of them would free up a roster spot at 2B. Tony Thomas’ numbers this year were a disappointment to me, High A Daytona or AA Tennessee depending upon his spring.