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.