Felix Pie's circuitous route to the Cubs MLB roster has been well documented, but thankfully now with the addition of Fonzie, the template used with Corey Patterson, won't be imposed on another prized CF prospect.
Pie, like Patterson, has a wonderful blend of speed and power. Pie also resembles his predecessor with his free swinging style. However, Pie's defense appears superior to Pattersons, primarily due to his cannon of an arm.
If the Cubs stand pat in the outfield with J. Jones playing CF, I doubt any of us could assume that Jones would be defensively superior to Pie.
We then have to ask ourselves, will Pie's superior defense offset the potential loss of offense if Jones is traded?
As I mentioned in previous posts, the Cubs have a likely suitor for Jones in Pittsburgh, who would be willing to part with any of their LHSP's for a LH power hitting right fielder.
I don't believe, with the Cubs pressing need to fix the rotation, that Hendry wouldn't pull the trigger on such a trade if he had a solid replacement for Jones bat. Hendry should take into account that superior defense is an offensive category as well and factor that into his decision.
Let's look at the 2006 season numbers for both Jones and Pie to see what the difference actually is. Now I know Pie was at AAA and Jones was in the Bigs, however Jones was coming off his second best season ever and is on the wrong side of 30, where Pie's first part of the 2006 was below par after missing the last part of the 2005 season with a broken leg. Pie is only 21, and really heated it up at Iowa that last part of the season.
559AB 33D 8T 15HR 127K 46BB 341OBP 283BA 451SLG
533AB 31D 1T 27HR 116K 35BB 334OBP 285BA 499SLG
The question I'd like to ask all of you is this. Are the Cubs better off with a Z. Duke in the rotation and a Felix Pie in CF for a combined salary under $1 million, or are they better off with J. Jones in CF with no addition to the rotation for $5 million?