Cubs 2007 Report Card, Part I: Catchers

5:06 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Now its time to look back at the season that was, and review how the various Cub players fared. The TMS Cubs Report Card will break down each player's performance with the hard-hitting analysis that only the Saloon can bring you. We also give them all a letter grade, an idea I can best describe as incredibly original. Since the Cubs used a half dozen catchers this season, I thought it'd be best to give them their own part to what will be an ongoing series. So let's see how this ragtag team of backstops did. Helping me out today is fellow bartender Daft Funk.

Michael Barrett
G 57, AB 211, R 23, HR 9, RBI 29, SB 2, AVG .256

Notes/Grades:
CHIP: Oh Barrett. What a tumultuous run you had with us. When he was batting .300 and punching A.J. Pierzynski in the face, it was easy to overlook the poor defense. But this year the solid hitting wasn't there, and his gaffes behind the plate became that much more magnified. Everything came to a head when Fat Z beat him like a rented burro. Barrett was soon shipped off to San Diego and the Cubs began winning after that. Grade C

FUNK: I remember the day the Barrett/Zambrano fight happened. I read about it on ESPN.com at work, and I thought to myself, "Man, Zambrano is on his way out." Turns out, it was Barrett that was sent packing. At first I thought this wasn't a smart move, but I think I was just blinded by the fact that Barrett had a few good seasons with the bat prior to this one. The dude can't hit anymore, can't throw out baserunners, and has shitty defense. On the other hand, I went to high school with a kid named Mike Barrett, so... Grade D+

Jason Kendall
G 57, AB 174, R 21, HR 1, RBI 19, SB 0, AVG .270

Notes/Grades:
CHIP: Kendall was brought in at midseason after hitting an abysmal .226 in 80 games with Oakland. Kendall brought in some veteran leadership and a beard that put all other clubhouse facial hair to shame. Fact: Jason Kendall shaves after every even-numbered inning to keep the beard in check. He shaves after every single inning when there's a full moon. Luckily his bat heated up upon arrival to Chicago. Jason was pretty good getting on base. Throwing baserunners out? Eh, not so much. Grade B-

FUNK:
Kendall hit for an empty .300 average, couldn't throw my mom out on the basepaths, and looks like a cross between Mike Lowell and the silent killer from Boondock Saints. Grade C-

Koyie Hill
G 36, AB 93, R 7, HR 2, RBI 12, SB 2, AVG .161

Notes/Grades:
CHIP: The Koyie Hill Experience lasted for 77 days. Some day if a Cubs of Yore is ever written about him, we will surely reminisce about his crazy 5 RBI game he had against San Francisco. Anytime you can account for 42% of your RBI's in a single game, its gotta be noteworthy. Grade D

FUNK: One word: Meh. Grade Incomplete

Geovany Soto
G 18, AB 54, R 12, HR 3, RBI 8, SB 0, AVG .389

Notes/Grades:
CHIP: Apparently TBS thought he was Japanese as Dick Stockton called him Jobani Sato. Soto had a monster year in AAA Iowa, being voted the PCL MVP. He came up late this season and gave us a sneak peek of what's to come from the young backstop. Soto hit the ball extremely well and, GASP! What's this? He can throw too? Amazing. I don't want to get too excited just yet, but he could very well be the best catcher we've had around here in quite a long while. Also thumbs up to his newly grown facial hair. Now he doesn't look so much like a member of the Mexican Olympic Softball Team, but rather a heftier Richard Grieco. Grade B+

FUNK: He can throw, he can hit, and he's got a sweet last name. The only downside? He's a pretty ugly dude. Still, if he can avoid a Sophomore Slump, he's gonna make Chicago say "Barrett who?" Oh wait...they already do. Grade A-

Henry Blanco
G 22, AB 54, R 3, HR 0, RBI 4, SB 0, AVG .167

Notes/Grades:
CHIP: Hank White spent most of the season as a spectator as he was hobbled with a bad back. Never known for his bat really, Hank has been a decent defensive catcher for us. Although there wasn't much to talk about this season besides him sporting the greatest Latino mullet ever. Grade D+

FUNK: Suck sandwich. Grade D-

Rob Bowen
G 10, AB 31, R 3, HR 0, RBI 2, SB 0, AVG .065

Notes/Grades:
CHIP: Booooo! You were nothing more than a stopgap between Barrett and Kendall. I'm glad you were not in my life for very long. Please excuse me while I erase those 31 at bats from my memory. Grade F

FUNK: This is what we got for Barrett? We wuz robbed! Grade F-

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