Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Fukudome - Bust? Already?

Am I the only guy that sees the upside or at least the possibility that he has the tools to become a quality major leaguer?

Defensively - a nonissue.

Offensively - for a 'rookie', he had a good 1/3, a fair 1/3 and a horrendous 1/3.  Yes, he's older and more experienced than your typical rookie, albeit from the japanese league.  But after one year we look at it as a bust?

He has a year of 'american' baseball under his belt.  He can draw a walk, that's been proven.  He just got into a huge hole trying to get out of the 2nd half slump and only added undo pressure on to himself.  When you're on a 1st place team and batting 6th or 7th, many times you will have men on base when you're at the plate.  But when you're a rookie in a slump, it could get ugly quick.  And it surely did.

However with few swing/stance adjustments & winter ball, I think he can turn it around and be a .280/.390/15/80 defensive gem for our club.  Maybe even our next leadoff hitter.  This isn't a Walton/Rhodes/Patterson/Pie scenario.  We also have to remember any comparision to Ichiro (which has been mentioned by some media) wouldn't be fair.

Was he overhyped?  At some levels, yes.  Did we pay him a lot of money?  Yes.  Too much?  The verdict isn't in yet.

I wanted him, bad

Nobody, maybe except Hendry and the Dome himself, is more embarrassed about this than I am. I honestly thought he was the Missing Link, the Plus Fielding OBP Machine!

But unless he leaves the Tilt-a-Whirl swing at home, there is no way he deserves to go north with us next spring.

what has been overlooked here

Didn't he cone off an injury riddled season in Japan before signing with the Cubs? His 2007 Japanese batting average was down by 60 points.

No reason for you to be

No reason for you to be embarrassed, Rob. It's not your job to evaluate and determine how much a player is worth. It's Hendry's and others. Keep in mind Hendry reportedly had the 3rd best offer behind the Rangers and White Sox. He was overvalued by everyone. Almost every Japanese player is overvalued and rarely as good as people think they'll be.

Fukudome's defense is good enough to keep him from being a "bust" but his offensive performance is and will be awful.

You're a blogger; not an MLB executive. Nothing to be embarrassed about.

Not being a Met fan

to witness the colossal flop of Kaz Matsui when he was there, it's hard to tell if there could be a comparison between his entry into the bigs and subsequent turnaround and that of Fukudome. The problem I have with being hopeful is the age of Fukudome compared to Matsui when he struggled. It's certainly hard to imagine Fukudome could overcome those serious flaws in his swing unless it was purely attributable to him trying to hard. After all it's not like he never hung in against LHP and took the ball the other way. I hope it was the pressure of it all but for now I'd just be happy to see the twirly bird swing vanish.

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