Fukudome Back in Chicago, Further South
In a bit of fun news today, the White Sox officially agreed to terms with former Chicago Cub, Kosuke Fukudome. The White Sox announced that they have agreed to sign Fukudome to a one-year, $1MM contract that includes a club option for 2013. The outfielder will earn $500K in 2012 and the $3.5MM option for 2013 includes a $500K buyout. This marks the first dollar spent by the White Sox this off season as GM – Kenny Williams has already stated this team will be in rebuilding mode.
Really quite fascinating to look back at what Kosuke Fukudome was “worth” entering this league back in 2008. At the time the Cubs gave Fukudome a 4 year deal worth $48MM, a short four years later and the outfielder is making $500,000 this year. Fukudome was a solid performer, if you only count 1/3rd of the season. He was patient at the plate, seemed to put the ball in play a lot, and was not a liability in the outfield. However, he really only put up numbers in the first couple of months each and every year, then trailed off.
2009 – 2011 BA/OBP by Month
May – .258/.383
June – .198/.285
July – .256/.351
August – .308/.387
September – .210/.312
For whatever reason Kosuke just could never put together back to back decent months. Same thing happened in his rookie year with the Cubs. He was a sensation out of the gates, making the all-star team in his first year as a major league ball player. That success was short lived as he crumbled down the stretch.
2008 – Rookie Year
Pre All Star Game – .279 AVG / .383 OBP / .408 SLG
Post All Star Game – .217 AVG / .314 OBP / .326 SLG
Really aggravating, especially when his discipline and patience at the plate seemed to just disappear as the year got longer. Maybe he can put together a decent year on the South Side, we wish him the best of luck.
Thanks for reading.
– George Cotugno