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Friday, December 9th, 2016

FELIX WHO? FULD WINS AFL MVP

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Sam Fuld, he of the great catch that possibly saved the Cubs playoff hopes in 2007, was just named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League.

Fuld led the AFL in most offensive categories, including hits (43), doubles (11), on-base percentage (.492), slugging percentage (.626), OPS (1.118) and extra-base hits (16). In addition, he finished second in hitting (.402) and third in runs scored (20). Fuld reached base in 27 of 29 games and put together an 11-game hitting streak.

Lest anyone think his contribution to the Mesa Solar Sox was purely statistical, it should be pointed out that Fuld became the first player to win both the MVP and the Dernell Stenson Award, which is presented each year to the player who displays the best leadership qualities.

“Who knows about next year?” said Fuld, who turned 26 in November after making his Major League debut in September. “I don’t think this can hurt me for next year. Hopefully this helps, though you can’t put much stock in it because it’s a short season. But there are so many guys in this league who are current and future Major Leaguers.”

Could Fuld win the centerfield job for the Cubbies?

No one expects him to put up those types of numbers, but he has consistently reached base at every level he has played, from Stanford on through the Cubs minor league system. That, as we know, is a rare commodity on the Cubs.

He also played great replacement defense in his brief stay with the big club last year, albeit sparingly. Doing all those things at the major league level for a full season is a tough task for any young player. But here’s hoping he at least makes the ballclub coming out of spring training, in some capacity.

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