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Modest Proposal
April 01, 2013
Josh Vitters was the third pick in the 2007 draft. Nearly six years later the Cubs still aren't sure what they have in the third baseman. The 23-year-old has hit for good averages in the minors (.283 career, .304 last year at Triple A) but without developing power, and his lack of plate discipline is Delmonesque: He's drawn just 93 unintentional walks in more than 2,100 plate appearances. In what will be another rebuilding year for Chicago, it should see what it has in Vitters by making him the everyday third baseman. The incumbent options, Ian Stewart and Luis Valbuena, are journeymen with little upside. (Combined, they hit .203 with nine home runs in 505 plate appearances last year.) Vitters may have been awful in an August call-up (.121/.193/.202 in 109 trips to the plate), but he has little to gain by heading back for a seventh minor league season. The Cubs can use 2013 to learn whether they have an inexpensive solution at third for the next few years—and if not, they can plan to hit the trade and free-agent markets.
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April 01, 2013

Modest Proposal

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Josh Vitters was the third pick in the 2007 draft. Nearly six years later the Cubs still aren't sure what they have in the third baseman. The 23-year-old has hit for good averages in the minors (.283 career, .304 last year at Triple A) but without developing power, and his lack of plate discipline is Delmonesque: He's drawn just 93 unintentional walks in more than 2,100 plate appearances. In what will be another rebuilding year for Chicago, it should see what it has in Vitters by making him the everyday third baseman. The incumbent options, Ian Stewart and Luis Valbuena, are journeymen with little upside. (Combined, they hit .203 with nine home runs in 505 plate appearances last year.) Vitters may have been awful in an August call-up (.121/.193/.202 in 109 trips to the plate), but he has little to gain by heading back for a seventh minor league season. The Cubs can use 2013 to learn whether they have an inexpensive solution at third for the next few years—and if not, they can plan to hit the trade and free-agent markets.

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