2009 Player Previews - Ryan Theriot
Editor's note: Colin was due to write this preview today, but he instead chose to leave me high and dry lookin' for a Cubs blogger. Since the subject of this post is a favorite of Colin's, I'll do my best to write in his place everything he would have written. And for the denser reader out there, at least 1% of what I'm about to write is tongue in cheek.
Ryan Theriot will be the MVP of the 2009 Chicago Cubs. Let's face it - he was the unsung hero of the '08 squad, and he'll be back to cause even more damage to Chicago's opponents in 2009.
His defensive skills are dramatically undervalued. And what he does with the bat is nothing short of amazing. He consistently strokes singles and provides a deadly base-stealing threat -- something the Cubs haven't had in what feels like forever.
A lot of people wanted to cut Theriot loose after a mediocre '07 season. In his first full year in the majors, Theriot batted a meak .266 with an OPS of .642. At the time, I'd asked a simple question - would anybody be worried if he managed so much as a 1 exra single every week of the baseball season? The next year Theriot answered my question en force. Yes, EN effin' FORCE. He managed 35 more hits, batted an awesome .307, got on base at a clip of .387, and stole 22 while providing extremely solid defense at short.
So, how will he do in 2009? I think it's fair to say that Theriot is capable of putting up a career year. I'm talking 10-15 homeruns, 70-85 RBI, 40+ steals, a .320 AVG, and an OBP above .400. Not to mention he should finally get the Gold Glove he so justly deserves.
Ryan Theriot. The Cubs are lucky to have him. I know I'm just parroting Colin in saying all of that, but I believe it from the bottom of my heart - the guy is a stud, and - sorry, Ernie! - the best shortstop in the history of the Cubs organization.