Thursday, February 03, 2005

Dave Crouthers Report

Dave Crouthers, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Drafted 83rd Overall (3rd Rd), 2001 Draft, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville
Bats R/Throws R
25 YO, 6'3", 203 lbs

Now that the Sosa deal is official, Crouthers, Jerry Hairston, and Mike Fontenot are Cubs property.

Crouthers is a rightie with a mid 90's fastball, but spotty control and a gopherball problem. In 2005, he put up a 5.03 ERA with 138 strikeouts, 68 walks, 134 hits, and 23 home runs allowed in 140 International League innings. He doesn't have any durability problems, but his stuff and his stats tell me that he's just better off in the bullpen, where his fastball gives him the potential to be an above average major league player. He has to clean up his command or else he'll be a AAA nomad.

In evaluating this trade, you have to come to the conclusion that it is a bad trade for the Cubs when based on performance. Hairston is a utility player, who is useful on the bench, but nowhere near as talented as Sosa, even in the decline phase of Sammy's career. Crouthers is a live arm. A shot in the dark in hopes that he might turn into a decent reliever. And yesterday on ESPNews, Joe Sheehan came up with the best description of Fontenot, when he said that the second baseman is a mini-Todd Walker, the player ahead of him on the depth chart. He can hit a little, but as a poor man's version of the original, he isn't likely to be an impact player or even a full time starter. He's depth at that position. The Orioles made out like bandits. They have a one year commitment to a player who will sell some tickets, and help lend some legitimacy to a team that is bound to be an also-ran in the AL East. The Cubs got to feel better about themselves as they replace a disgruntled Sosa with Jeromy Burnitz, but in terms of performance, the deal is a significant downgrade.

ETA: late 2005/early 2006
2 1/2 Stars

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