Thursday, October 6, 2011
Time: 20 Days
Address: c/o Chicago Cubs
Item Sent: 2008 Topps Heritage
Item Received: 2008 Topps Heritage, signed in blue ballpoint.
Bryan LaHair is not a hot young prospect by any means, but it's fair to say he has conquered Triple-A pitching. LaHair appeared in 45 games for the 2008 Seattle Mariners, but even that offensively starved club didn't think enough of him to give him a shot as an everyday player. He signed as a minor league free agent with the Cubs in 2010 and proceeded to hit 25 homers with a .942 OPS for Iowa that season. That was not enough to earn a call-up to the Cubs, though, even after they traded first baseman Derrek Lee in August. Back at Iowa for 2011, he had a sensational year. he hit .331 with 38 home runs and 109 RBI, posting a 1.070 OPS and winning the Pacific Coast League MVP award. He finally earned a September call-up with the Cubs and, in his first big league playing time in three years had an .885 OPS in 69 plate appearances. With Carlos Pena a free agent, LaHair is a dark horse candidate to be the Cubs first baseman in 2012, though they are expected to be in on the bidding for free agents Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.