After another terrible finish in the NL Central the Chicago Cubs cleaned house and brought in Theo Epstein and Dale Sveum. This isn't a one season rebuilding process though, it will take a little time to turn the Cubs around into a contender. Let’s have a look at the lineup they’ll be sending out to the field this season. You can see where we think they will finish the season in our Chicago Cubs prophecies.
Geovany Soto (Catcher) – After winning the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2008, Soto has gotten worse and had an especially bad year last year. He batted .285 with 23 homers and 86 RBI in his rookie year, but last year he batted just .228 with 17 homers and 54 RBI. His stats need to enhance massively if he wants to help the Cubs compete in the Central.
Bryan LaHair (First Base) – For most of his career, LaHair has lit it up essentially in the minors. Now he’ll be given the opportunity to showcase his talents in the Major Leagues this year. Last year, LaHair had a minor league-best 38 homers and the Cubs are hoping that those power stats translate to the big leagues. Power-hitting prospect Anthony Rizzo is also in the running, should LaHair struggle.
Darwin Barney (2nd Base) – Barney showed some of his ability as a rookie last year. He batted .276 with 23 doubles and 43 RBI. Barney desires to stake his claim as the future at second base because the only other option is veteran Jeff Baker.
Starlin Castro (Shortstop) – Starlin Castro is among the most promising guys in the organization. The young star will turn just 22 in March and already he has turned in 2 stellar years of play. He backed up his superb rookie year by batting .307 with 10 homers, 36 doubles, 9 triples and 66 RBI. As he continues to age, he’s got the chance to really be a great player.
Ian Stewart (Third Base) -Long time third baseman Aramis Ramirez left via free agency, so the Cubs were made to bring in Stewart to take over at third. Stewart is coming off a terrible 2011 year for the Colorado Rockies in which he batted just .156 in 48 games before being taken down to the minors, but he has put up solid numbers in the past. He hit 43 homers and drove in 131 runs combined in 2009 and 2010.
Alfonso Soriano (Left Field) – The Cubs were meant to part methods with Soriano this winter, but as of now he is the Opening Day left fielder. Soriano still has some power, as he hit 26 homers and drove 88 runs last year, but he has fought to make contact on a consistent basis. He’s just averaging a measly .248 in the past three years.
Marlon Byrd (Center Field) – An unlucky accident forced him to miss a good chunk of the year. He was hit in the face by a pitch, which led to him batting .276 with just 9 homers and 35 RBI. The previous All-Star is on a decline, but he has a few solid years left in the tank.
David DeJesus (Right Field) – Prior to last year, the right fielder has hit at or near .300 for almost all of his career, but DeJesus hit just .240 in 131 games with the Oakland A’s in 2011. He’ll likely get a shot at opening the year as the leadoff hitter, but he doesn’t precisely have the rate teams look for at the very top.
Author: Jack JonesThis author has published 1 articles so far.