The compelling fate of Sam Fuld(!)
Toward the end of 2007, one James Carbunckle Hendry* recalled a number of young talents from the team's minor league system. One such player was a young Jewish guy who stands about as tall as a bar-room stool. Naturally, he won the hearts of Cub fans everywhere, particularly after making a spectacular double-play that involved him slamming into the ivy before accurately firing the ball back to first base.
Fuld(!) is not the first little man to win over the Cub Fan Nation. His predecessor was Augie Ojeda, who was well-loved in Chicago until he stabbed us in the heart by having a productive October for the D-Backs this past year. Before Ojeda, it was Doug Dascenzo, who was also well-loved in Chicago until he stabbed us in the heart by being mediocre.
For whatever reason, and maybe it has to do with his strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, Fuld(!) has catapulted to the top of the Untradable Prospects list. He is well-respected by Hendry, and at this stage it is almost a given that Fuld(!) will not only be on the roster in April, but he may even be the starting center fielder. (Okay, okay, enough with the Fuld-Exclamation Points)
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let us stop to remember that Fuld, whose heart grew three sizes larger that day, or something, is a little guy who is unlikely to blossom into Willie Mays - or, for that matter, Corey Patterson. Maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves by saying that he's untradable, or even starter material.
That said, he's certainly valuable ... as a bench player. I see Fuld as a guy who can play any outfield position in a pinch, who will hustle his little butt off play in and play out. As things stand, Fuld is likely to join Ward as our two outfielders, and I anticipate that Hendry will continue to shop Matt Murton - who, quite frankly, I would value over Fuld.
It's unlikely that Jim will grab Lofton, no matter how sensible it is, and for that reason Lil' Sammy should get some at bats this season. Hopefully he will continue to hustle and perhaps he will ingrain himself eternally into the minds of Cub fans everywhere as a modern day Chicago folk-hero. But will he ever be a productive starter? Nah.
*I don't actually know if his middle is Carbunckle, but it sounds funny so I went with it