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I never thought that the Cubs needed a home run hitting first baseman...

They always got their power from other sources, like second base, third base, and the outfield positions...

But, for what it is, now they have a power hitting first baseman in Carlos Pena...

Baseball Winter Meetings: Carlos Pena Is The Lefty Power Bat At First The Cubs Have Sought For Decades

It should be interesting to see how well he adapts to Wrigley Field. He is a left-handed first baseman (harking back to images of Mark Grace, but with power). In 10 seasons in the Majors (with the Rangers, Tigers, Athletics, Red Sox and Rays (All AL)), he's hit 230 home runs and drove in 650 RBI. That is an average of 38 home runs, although that is misleading because he's only been at or over 38 home runs in two seasons. His overall batting average is .241, which isn't awe-inspiring to me. I'd rather have a first baseman who makes contact, at least when he's not hitting home runs.

Last year with the Rays, he hit a whopping .196, something Mark Grace never did, although he hit .200 his final year in 2003, when he was a part-time player with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Mark had only 173 home runs in his career but he lead all batters in the 1990's in hits (with 1754 in the 90's, finishing with 2445) and ended up his career with 511 doubles. This was over a 16 year Major league career.

Carlos Pena only has 171 doubles over a 10-year career so far. No way will he ever catch up to Mark Grace. Mark had 45 triples in his career, which amazes the hell out of me, considering he wasn't exactly the FASTEST runner on the field. Pena only has 20 triples. Another mark he'll never catch Grace on.

I will give Carlos Pena all the opportunities to win me over and I hope that he has a great season with the Cubs in 2011. But the jury will be out on him until he proves himself.


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