What's Next For Derrek Lee?

Bullpen BrianCorrespondent IMay 19, 2010

Don’t write off Derrek Lee just yet.

I made that mistake last year…calling for Micah Hoffpauir after Lee hit .189 through April.

To my surprise, however, the seasoned-vet turned things around…and in a big way, too…35HR, 111 RBI while batting .367 in September.

Unfortunately, he’s back to his old tricks…slumping in the three-hole and batting a paltry .229.

No question he’s killing the Cubs offensively…but as of late, they’re signs he’s again turning the corner.

Lee’s batting nearly .300 on the currant homestand…had a six-game hitting streak snapped Monday…and has reached base safely in 32 of his last 38 games played. And while his batting average is weak, Lee’s on-base percentage is 100-points higher.

Perhaps, most importantly is Lee’s Gold Glove defense…37-straight games without an error…vital for a team challenged offensively.

Yes, Derrek’s closer to 40-years-old than 30…and yes, he’s not the player he once was upon his arrival in Chicago…but the big man proved last year he’s still got game….at least enough for a little grace period this season.

It’s Lee’s contract year, too…so he’s playing for what appears to be his final professional contract. Just another sign the former All Star won’t go quietly…despite another poor start through mid-May.