Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Reviewing From Decades Past: 1990 - Position Players

For the second decade in a row, not one player from the 1980 lineup was still starting in 1990. In fact, there wasn't a single player on the entire roster that stayed with the team throughout the '80s. So we get to look at eight new players including two Hall of Famers.

First Baseman Mark Grace was establishing himself as one of the premier first baseman in the National League. He hit .309 and finished in the top ten in hitting for the third time in his three year career. He added 82 RBIs and 8 home runs, though I think the Cubs were hoping for more power from Grace.

Second Baseman
Ryne Sandberg had one of the best seasons of any second baseman in MLB history. He led the league with 40 home runs, becoming the first second baseman to do that since 1925. He also hit for average, with a .306 mark and drove in 100 runs. He earned his 8th straight Gold Glove as he set MLB records for consecutive errorless games and errorless chances.

Shawon Dunston and his cannon arm manned short and made his second straight All-Star team. He hit a career high 17 home runs and batted .262.

Third Baseman
The Ron Santo Hole continued in 1990 as three different players covered the spot, with Luis Salazar getting the most starts. The 34 year-old veteran hit .254 with 12 HR and 47 RBIs.

1989's starter Damon Berryhill was injured for most of the year, so the catching fell to a player who started the season with only 32 games under his belt. Joe Girardi did a nice job, hitting .270. He had only 38 RBI's, but he wasn't in the lineup for his bat, but his leadership behind the plate.

Left Fielder
Sophomore Dwight Smith was the left fielder and saw his average drop 62 points from 1989. Ouch!

Center Fielder
Would defending Rookie of the Year Jerome Walton avoid the Sophomore Jinx? No! He played in only 101 games, losing time to a broken left hand and injured right wrist. Like Smith, his average also dropped, in his case, a 30 point drop.

Right Fielder
Andre Dawson had a nice season, hitting .310 with 27 HRs and and even 100 RBIs. No bad for a 36 year old with bad knees.

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