The Cubs gave a lot of money to 31-year old lefty swinging Kosuke Fukudome in the off-season to start in RF. He played in 81 games in Japan last season and he was 79 for 269 (.294 avg, .963 OPS) with 64 runs scored, 13 homers and 48 RBIs. Over nine seasons in Japan’s major leagues, Fukudome has a .305 career average and he has averaged 79.2 runs scored, 21.3 homers and 71.9 RBIs per game. Power numbers don’t usually transfer well from Japan so don’t expect big production out of Fukudome. He could hit for a high average with a bundle of doubles however.
Matt Murton will be Fukudome’s backup in RF. He played in 41 games in RF last season for the Cubs and he made 4 errors while showing slightly above average range.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C