Even though he was hitting .213 with a crazy 29/1 K/BB ratio in 89 at-bats for Triple-A Iowa this month, Tyler Colvin was called up by the Cubs following Thursday’s trade of Kosuke Fukudome to the Indians and could take over as the team’s primary right fielder.
Colvin, who hit 20 homers during a surprisingly strong rookie campaign last year, flopped while splitting time with Fukudome at the beginning of this season, hitting just .105 with two homers in 95 at-bats. He had a great June for Iowa, hitting .313/.324/.641, but he was a huge disappointment recently, particularly with his .222 on-base percentage this month. He ended up with a 55/5 K/BB ratio to go along with a .256 average and seven homers in 203 at-bats in the PCL.
Still, Colvin was the pick over the Cubs’ top position prospect, Brett Jackson. The 22-year-old Jackson got off to a scorching start at Double-A Tennessee this season, but he faded even before his promotion to Iowa earlier this month and he’s hit .204/.298/.367 with 21 strikeouts in 13 games for his new team. Overall, he’s at .247/.361/.431 with 11 homers and 17 steals in 295 at-bats for the year.
So, Jackson probably isn’t ready yet. And the Cubs do need to figure out whether Colvin should be a part of their plans for 2012. As encouraging as Colvin’s 2010 was, he’s done little else since being drafted in the first round five years ago to suggest that he has a fuure as a big-league regular. These next two months will determine whether he’ll be the Cubs’ right fielder next year or whether the club will be in the market for a stopgap while awaiting Jackson’s arrival.