clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mailbag: Free Agents and Rookies

Q: Why are teams calling up their prospects so early? Justin Upton is starting for the Diamondbacks and my son is older than him? Same with Cameron Maybin. Is baseball going to get worse with these young kids playing more?

Dave S, Hollywood, Florida

ELI: I think teams are becoming more willing and eager to rush their top prospects to the major league level. Cameron Maybin was tearing it up at AA Erie batting .400 in six games. Teams don't want their players to adjust to worse talent and slow down in making it to the MLB. Justin Upton was the same way in AA Mobile batting .309 with 13 HR. They push them to play against better competition and for now it is paying off. I don't think baseball will get worse, if anything better because you have a lot of raw talent. Time will tell.

Q: The Iowa Cubs are loaded with solid players, where do you see there good players fitting in with the Cubs in the next couple of years?

Jon Parker, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

ELI: The Iowa Cubs do have a lot of MLB ready players that will probably be with the club next season. Geovany Soto will probably sharing time with Jason Kendall if he is brought back. Jake Fox could be on the bench next season as a utility player. The bullpen will probably include Carmen Pigniatello, Rocky Cherry, Clay Rapada, and Sean Gallagher. Felix Pie will be in center field for the Cubs next season and Mike Fontenot will be sharing time at second with Mark DeRosa. However, Micah Hoffpauir, Eric Patterson, and Josh Kroeger are all capable of making the team as well. Great teams are built from the ground up, so this should be an interesting team in a couple years.

Q: Who is the best free agent at each position coming in to this offseason?

Ethan, Highland Park, Illinois


C Jorge Posada
1B Kevin Millar (option)
2B Jeff Kent (option)
3B Alex Rodriguez (option)
SS David Eckstein
OF Andruw Jones
OF Torii Hunter
OF Aaron Rowand

SP Curt Schilling
RP Joe Nathan

Q: Where do you think Kosuke Fukudome will end up?

Gary, Nova Scotia

ELI: It is tough to say right now. The White Sox are looking to make a splash and might look at him. The Rangers missed out on Matsuzaka and may try at him. The Padres, Dodgers, and Giants, who have openings in their outfields after this season, may look for a cheap add on in Fukudome. There will be a lot of interest in Fukudome, and he will probably get a lot of money from a desperate team.

Q: Why do you think power numbers are down this year? The leading homerun hitter only has 39 homeruns.

Tony, Queens

ELI: I think the main reason for that is pitching. The pitching is a lot better and teams are pitching around big hitters. Also, teams are getting better scouting reports, and exploiting weaknesses better. And thanks to my most loyal reader Timothy for reminding me, players are not using steroids anymore cutting back a lot.

If you have any questions, email me at