Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella is still undecided who will be his leadoff man for the 2010 season. Apparently he will let the spring games determine if it is Ryan Theriot or Kosuke Fukudome. There are three things you want from you leadoff man.
- The ability to take pitches so your hitters can get a good look at the opposing pitcher.
- The ability to get on base, and
- the ability to advance, getting into scoring position.
The comparison below shows that Theroit has a slight advantage and probably is favored going into camp.
Player Theroit Fukudome
Pitchers/AB 3.67/3.69 4.23/4.63
OBP .356/.343 .367/.375
Stolen Bases 2009 – 21 2009 – 6
SB % 67.7/74.3 37.5/56.3
As you can see, Fukudome is certainly a more patient hitter. He gets on base slightly more than Theriot, but Theroit is much more likely to advance into scoring position and will draw more attention when on base. This will help the Cub hitters get better pitches to swing at. If Theriot works on his patience at the plate this spring, increasing his OBP, he will emerge as the Cubs leadoff man.
GO CUBS GO