Today we are going to take a look at a guy who could be an extremely key contributor to the 2009 version of the Chicago Cubs, Micah Hoffpauir.
Micah was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft in the 44th round (1,301st overall), but he did not sign and returned to Lamar University where he graduated in 2001. The Cubs then drafted him in the 13th round (393rd overall) of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft.
Hoffpauir was called up to Chicago on May 18, 2008, to replace an injured Daryle Ward. He made his major league debut that day, pinch-hitting for that guy who stole Sammy’s number (Jason Marquis) and striking out against Pittsburgh Pirates reliever John Grabow. He was then sent back to Iowa before a late season call-up and eventually batted .342 in 73 at-bats, with two homers, eight ribbies and an OPS of 0.934.
In between his MLB debut and recall, Micah tied a Pacific Coast League record by hitting four home runs in one game on August 9, 2008.
Hoffpauir leads the team so far this Spring in runs (11), home runs (4) and runs batted in (18). However, Micah also leads the team in strikeouts (13), though this could be contributed to his team-leading 66 at-bats.
His production in Mesa has earned him a roster spot for Opening Day. “Hoffpauir’s fine,” Manager Lou Piniella said. “We’re going to use him to rest Derrek (Lee) at first base and also we’re going to use him some in the (outfield) corners.”
Hoffpauir will be a great bat off the bench, replacing Daryle Ward once more, this time for the entire season.
Micah has great power and the ability to drive in a lot of runs. Also, at 6′3″ provides an equally big target when spelling D-Lee down at first base.
The Pinkie’s 2009 projections: