Right field is looking like a platoon position for the Cubs in 2010 between lefty swinging Kosuke Fukudome and righty swinging Xavier Nady. 32-year old lefty swinging Fukudome played in 146 games for the Cubs last season and he was 129 of 499 (.259 avg, .796 OPS) with 79 runs scored, 11 homers, 54 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. Fukudome was helpless against lefty pitchers hitting only .164 with a .532 OPS. But, against righties, Fukudome hit .270 with a .828 OPS. Fukudome was a terrible center fielder last season for the Cubs but he is solid in RF which is his natural position. Fukudome didn’t make any errors in 44 games in RF for the Cubs last season and he showed outstanding range. His arm is a little short for RF as he only had 1 assist from RF. Look for Fukudome to be more productive in 2010 playing in RF and likely only against righty pitchers.
31-year old righty swinging Xavier Nady’s 2009 season was cut short by Tommy John Surgery. The Cubs need him healthy enough to platoon with Fukudome this season. Nady played in 7 games for the Yankees last season and he was 8 for 28 (.286 avg, .739 OPS) with 4 runs scored and 2 RBIs. In his career (679 games) in the majors, Nady has a .280 batting average with a .792 OPS. Nady has scored a run every 7.8 at bats, whacked a homer every 25.9 ABs and he has knocked in a run every 6.9 ABs in his major league career. Nady will be productive for the Cubs as long as he can stay healthy. Nady didn’t make any errors in 6 games in RF for the Yanks last season while showing below average range.
29-year old lefty swinging Micah Hoffpauir could also get some P.T. in RF for the Cubs this season. He played in 25 games in RF for the Cubs last season and he made 1 error while showing slightly above average range. Hoffpauir only had 1 assist from RF so he doesn’t have a big time arm.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE RF IN 2010: B-