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9/6/1975 (41 y, 5 m, 17 d)
1993 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 14, Overall: 14, Team: San Diego Padres
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Lee will not come out of retirement to play for the Yankees, Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports. (3/14/2013)
Terrible Months in Good Seasons
Matt Klaassen (FanGraphs)
Freddie Freeman's Power Upside
Eno Sarris (RotoGraphs)
Roto Riteup: March 12, 2013
David Wiers (RotoGraphs)
2012 First Base Tiers: Preseason
Mike Axisa (RotoGraphs)
Should Anyone Sign Derrek Lee?
Chris Cwik (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Lost in the Cubs’ disappointing season is just how good Lee hit. His .306/.393/.579 slash line and .412 wOBA invoke memories of that magical 2005 season in which Lee became a serious Triple Crown contender. Lee posted perhaps the quietest 40 offensive-run season as anyone wearing pinstripes (of either variety) could possibly produce despite turning 34 late in the season. Recipient of a few Gold Gloves earlier in the decade, Lee is still a solid defender per UZR and qualifies for free agency following the 2010 season.
The Year Ahead:
With the exception of that aforementioned 2005, Lee posted a career high in ISO and a HR/FB over career norms. He probably won’t hit 35 home runs again (although he is only seven shy of 300 for his career) or drive in 100+ runs. Despite usually above-average production, Lee has only topped 100 RBI twice in his career. He used to be good for a handful or three of stolen bases, but only attempted one steal last year and hasn’t attempted more than 12 since 2005. Also, the double-play bug he acquired during 2008 quickly vanished from where it came in 2009. Decent option at first base, just don’t be the one to buy into the 2009 hype. (R.J. Anderson)
Derrek Lee played in 148 games last year, but he was hurt for much of it. After the season, he had surgery on a thumb that had bothered him for much of the year. He still has chronic neck and back pain, and he’s 35, so it’s hard to imagine he’ll hit 30 home runs again like he did in 2009. If the thumb heals, he at least should be a good bet to rebound in the batting-average department. But he’s an aging first baseman whose reputation often outpaced his performance even at his peak -- he’s only driven in 100 men twice and only scored 100 runs once -- and after all of his injuries, his running game has virtually disappeared, with just two steals in the past two seasons. He could be a pleasant surprise on a cheap contract with playing-time incentives, but fantasy owners don’t get that luxury. Twenty homers and a decent batting average should be within reach, but don’t bet on much more than that. (Alex Remington)
The Quick Opinion:
An aging first baseman. He'll probably hit 20 homers if he stays on the field, but his elite days are over.
While the order in which events happened made it seem like Lee had a mini-renaissance after being traded to Pittsburgh, it was more a case of regression to the mean -- Lee’s overall 2011 line looks a lot like his 2010 line. The differences though, aren’t particularly encouraging, particularly with his plate discipline, long one of the hallmarks of his game. Lee’s walk rate was the lowest of his 15-year career -- even lower than his really brief cup of coffee when he was still with the Padres. Aside from the fall off in his plate discipline, Lee was essentially the same guy, and that guy isn’t a starter at first base on most fantasy teams. (Paul Sywdan)
The Quick Opinion:
Don’t be fooled by Lee’s resurgence in Pittsburgh, he is still the same guy he was in 2010, and is no longer a good option to start at first base.
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Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017 3:34 AM ET
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