Hot-off-the-presses PECOTA projection for Kosuke Fukudome in Chicago:
PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG EqA VORP WARP
465 80 30 4 15 58 70 94 9 3 .289 .401 .504 .303 29.2 4.4
PECOTA holds Fukudome’s playing time projection down because he missed about half of last season due to elbow surgery. If he’s healthy in spring training, that should no longer be a concern. And look at that pretty OBP! Fukudome is unlikely to be a huge power threat, but that on-base ability should address one of the Cubs’ primary areas of weakness. His top comparables give you a pretty good idea of what sort of player we’re looking at; his is a fairly common profile for a left-handed outfielder.
1. J.D. Drew
2. Gene Hermanski
3. Jim Edmonds
4. Fred Lynn
5. Johnny Grubb
6. Andy Van Slyke
7. Bobby Abreu
The question, of course, is whether they’ll be smart enough to put him in the leadoff spot (Fukudome also runs pretty well) and demote Alfonso Soriano. Something like this…
…is a pretty good-looking lineup. PECOTA very much likes Geovany Soto and Felix Pie, by the way, and is reasonably warm on Ronny Cedeno. If the Cubs let these kids play–perhaps also integrating Ryan Theriot and Matt Murton in platoons of various kinds–this could quite easily be the best lineup in the National League.