The Cubs gave 30-year old switch hitting Milton Bradley a lot of money to man RF for them in 2008. The question is…..Can he stay healthy? Bradley hasn’t been the most durable player around and it will be interesting to see how well he gets along with Lou Piniella in 2009. Bradley played in 126 games for the Rangers last season and he was 133 for 414 (.321 avg, .999 OPS) with 78 runs scored, 22 homers, 77 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Bradley made 3 errors in only 19 games in RF last season for the Rangers but he showed outstanding range as he’s a natural CF.
39-year old righty swinging So Taguchi will start the season in AAA. He played in 88 games for the Phillies last season and he was 20 for 91 (.220 avg, .580 OPS) with 18 runs scored, 9 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. He has now played in 666 games in his major league career and he has a batting average of .279 with a .717 OPS so he’s a better hitter than he showed last season.
26-year old righty swinging Jake Fox is the #24 rated prospect for the Cubs heading into the 2009 season according to Baseball America. Fox is a converted 1B so don’t expect him to be a ace on defense. He played in 134 games in AAA+AA ball last season and he was 145 for 505 (.287 avg, .920 OPS) with 93 runs scored, 31 homers, 105 RBIs and 7 stolen bases.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: A-