Name: Adrian Cardenas
Current Age: 24
Uniform Number: 45
Who is this fucking guy?
He's a former first round pick of the Phillies (2006), who actually appeared on Baseball America's Top 100 list in 2008 (#76) and 2009 (#74). He's been bouncing back and forth between the AA and AAA levels in the Oakland system since 2008, he was DFA'd this January and the Cubs claimed him off waivers.
Yeah, but where is he ranked now?
- ScoutingBook Combine Ranking (5/8/2012): #420
- MiLB.com Season Preview: Unranked or n/a
- Scout.com/FOX Sports: Unranked or n/a
- ESPN: Unranked or n/a
- The Sporting News: Unranked or n/a
- Baseball America 2012: Unranked or n/a
- Baseball Prospectus: Unranked or n/a
Where will he play?
More than likely he will play at second base when he sees time in the field. He can also play third or shortstop if needed, but there was a reason he was moved down the defensive spectrum. He's also played some in left field, so that is also a possibility late in games when the bench is getting thinned out.
Might he actually enjoy reading something Alvin wrote?
Possibly. Alvin's letter to Theo Epstein that explained that Lake Michigan was, in fact, a lake and not the Atlantic Ocean as if Theo was awaking from major brain surgery, was a complete waste of internet ink as far as Theo is concerned. However, it might actually be useful information for Mr. Cardenas, who seems a bit confused by his new surroundings:
Cardenas was eating dinner with Iowa outfielder Brett Jackson on Sunday night when he got the news from Iowa manager Dave Bialas. “I left there in a hurry, “ Cardenas said. “Brett paid for my meal. He said ‘Get out of here. Go call whoever you need to call.’ And I did. It’s been great so far. I didn’t realize Lake Michigan is so big."
He also momentarily talked about watching the Cubs play a World Series game in Wrigley on TV before realizing he meant the 2003 NLCS.
Why We Might Like Him:
- He's been a pretty decent hitter in the minors, putting up an overall slash line of .303/.368/.417/.785
- He doesn't strike out a ton and knows how to take a walk.
- He's not Darwin Barney. (Snarky/realistic Cubs fans only)
Why We Might Hate Him:
- His defense is reportedly not so good.
- He doesn't hit for much power either.
- He's not Darwin Barney. (Kool-Aid-drinking Cubs fans only)
If You Rearrange the Letters in His Name You Get:
RARE CANDID NASA
What Cubs Blogosphere Thinks of Him:
The broad consensus is that the Cubs dropped DeWitt in favor of a cheaper, younger, better-hitting (though less power), more versatile, slightly worse defender. On the balance, it’s easy to see why the Cubs made the move, even if Cardenas isn’t anyone who’s going to knock your socks off.
I don't think the Cubs have similar concerns with Cardenas. He's a good hitter but he's probably not going to be a star player. He doesn't play great defense or possess great speed or have 20 HR power. His only above average tool is his bat and while he can be an offensive upgrade over Darwin Barney, and certainly Blake DeWitt, it's not likely he's going to command a huge salary in the future, even if he does end up a starter. And in the small chance he does end up being that kind of player, then I'm sure the Cubs won't be disappointed anyway.
Although the move lacks excitement, that doesn’t mean it’s without significance. The Cubs are in sore need of added depth, especially up the middle on defense. Think of Cardenas as a security blanket for Dale Sveum. He’ll give the skipper flexibility with the lineup, relief for Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro, and a valuable left-handed bat as a pinch-hitter.
CAIRO projects a .284 wOBA for Cardenas. We could bump that up now that he's moved to the inferior league. Oliver projects a .310 wOBA. CAIRO projected DeWitt to have a .323 wOBA while Oliver projected .303. The Cubs probably got a bit worse in terms of projections, but they added a player with multiple options and 6 years of club control. Several of those would be at league minimum. They got rid of a player who would probably have made about $3 million over the next couple seasons. They added someone who does still have some potential to be a decent big leaguer.
Special Bonus: He's starting tonight at 2nd base and batting 8th.