The Cubs made a move! Details? Bah. Don’t worry about that.
Ok, if you must: the Chicago Cubs have signed former LSU third baseman Derek Helenihi to a minor league deal, and invited him to Spring Training. Helenihi, 22, was a stud defensively at third base for the National Champion Tigers, and has very good speed, but was never much of a hitter.
Helenihi, a native of Livermore, Calif., played in 45 games (27 starts) last season, batting .255 (27-for-106) with two doubles, one triple, four homers, 23 RBI and 20 runs. He started at third base in all six of LSU’s College World Series game, making several outstanding defensive plays while posting a 1.000 fielding percentage in 17 chances. The Louisiana Advocate.
Helenihi played quite a bit more as a junior than as a senior – and he played quite a bit better, too. He’s actually been more of a utility type than a true third baseman. In his time at LSU, he played all over the outfield, and second base, in addition to his time at third. It’s probable that the Cubs will consider and then subsequently groom him as a utility player, where he would have the most value (unless his bat suddenly explodes).
You may recall, the Cubs’ second pick in this year’s draft was Helenihi’s teammate, D.J. LeMahieu, who is now considered a top ten prospect in the Cubs’ system. The Cubs, it seems, love finding infield teammates from LSU – Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot were a middle infield tandem at LSU.