Derrek Lee

Derrek LeeDerrek Lee

Birthday:  September 6

1st round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 1993 (14th selection overall)

Chicago Cubs (2004-2010)

NL All-Star (2005, 2007)

NL Silver Slugger at 1B (2005)

3-time Gold Glove Award Winner at 1B (2003, 2005, 2007)

He had 2 100-RBI Seasons (2005, 2009)

He had 1 100-Runs Scored Season (2005)

He finished in the Top 10 NL MVP voting twice (2005-3rd, 2009-9th)

He won a World Series championship with the Florida Marlins in 2003 






2005

In 2005, Derrek Lee led the NL in many categories (listed below)

  •      199 HIts
  •        50 Doubles
  •      .335 Batting Average
  •      .662 Slugging %
  •       393 Total Bases

He bacame the first Cubs player to win a batting title since Bill Buckner

batted .324 to win the batting title in 1980.  After the end of the 2017 

season, no Cub has won the batting title since Derrek Lee in 2005.  And since

Bill Buckner, Bill Madlock (1975, 1976) and Billy Williams (1972) are the

Cubs batting title winners, Lee is the first Cubs player not named Bill

to win an NL batting title since Phil Cavaretta in 1945.




November 25, 2003

Cubs trade Hee Seop Choi and Mike Nannini to the Florida Marlins for Derrek Lee.  


Yesterday's Cubs, today's metrics:


After Sammy Sosa & Moises Alou left the Cubs in the early 2000's, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez helped to make up a formidable middle of the lineup for the Cubs until Lee was traded during the 2010 season.  

In my opinion, Derrek Lee is truly one of the most underrated Cubs in their team history.  His career OPS+ is 129 so with the average offensive player in the league at 100, this shows that his offense was well above league average and his 3 gold gloves are proof that his defense is top notch as well.  


I went to Fangraphs and looked at the best seasons by Cubs first baseman.  

After the 2017 season, 19 Cubs first baseman have had a season WAR of over 5.   5 of these 19 seasons have occurred since the year 2000, Anthony Rizzo has earned 5.0+ WAR 3 times and Derrek Lee has twice (2005, 2009).  


Lee's 7.0 WAR in 2005 is the 3rd best in team history, behind only Frank Chance and Cap Anson.  Here is how each of his seasons with the Cubs are ranked in team history among Cubs 1B all-time (excluding 2010, the year he was traded mid-season & 2006, he missed the majority of this season with an injury).


2004 2.8 51st

2005 7.0 3rd

2007 3.3 T-42nd

2008 2.4 T-56th

2009 5.2 15th


How did Derrek Lee compare to other first baseman of his time?


One thing that could account for Derrek Lee being underrated is because he was playing 1B at a time when one of the best of all-time was having incredible seasons in the same division, Albert Pujols.  As great as D Lee was in 2005, his 7.0 WAR did not match any of Pujols seasons from 2004 to 2009.  Below is a list of the best first baseman by WAR from 2004 to 2009. Pujols was much better than anyone else, including 2 MVP winners (Ryan Howard & Justin Morneau).


1) Albert Pujols 48.4

2) Mark Teixara 30.1

3) Lance Berkman 28.2

4) Miguel Cabrera 26.4

5) Derrek Lee 21.5

6) Kevin Youkilis 20.9

7) Todd Helton 20.5

8) Ryan Howard 18.9

9) Justin Morneau 14.8

10) Carlos Pena 14.8



Derrek Lee Celebrated His Birthdays with the Cubs!!

September 6 

Happy birthday to Derrek Lee.  Lee enjoyed celebrating his birthday on the field by hitting home runs each year.  Lee hit home runs in an amazing 4 consecutive years on his birthday, the first as a Florida Marlin in 2003 and continuing with home runs in 2004, 2005 and 2006.   His 2006 home run was a Grand Slam against the Pirates Matt Capps in a Cubs 7-2 victory at Wrigley Field. 



Derrek Lee-This Day in Chicago Cubs History

May 6, 2004

At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat Dbacks 11-3.  Derrek Lee goes 5 for 5 with a home run & 5 RBI.

May 30, 2004

At PNC Park, the Cubs defeat the Pirates 12-1.  Derrek Lee goes 3 for 6 with a single, double, triple & 4 RBI.   

June 8, 2004

At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Cardinals 7-3.  Derrek Lee goes 3 for 4 with 2 doubles & 3 RBI.   

June 10, 2004 

Cubs defeat Cardinals 12-3 at Wrigley as they score 10 runs in 4th inning. Derrek Lee, Moises Alou & Todd Walker all homer

August 19, 2004

In Milwaukee, the Cubs defeat the Brewers 9-6. Derrek Lee goes 3 for 5 with a home run & 4 RBI.  Aramis Ramirez 5th inning, 3-run home run gives the Cubs an 8-5 lead in the game.  

August 24, 2004

Moises Alou hits 2 3-run home runs & Derek Lee hits a Grand Slam as Cubs defeat Brewers 13-4 at Wrigley Field

September 15, 2004

At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Expos 13-5.  Derrek Lee, Sammy Sosa & Michael Barrett hit back to back to back home runs in the first inning and 

Sosa adds a grand slam later in the game.  

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April 4, 2005

Cubs defeat AZ 16-6. Derrek Lee was 4 for 6 with HR, 2 doubles and drove in 5 runs.  

April 17, 2005

At PNC park in Pittsburgh, the Cubs defeat the Pirates 4-2.  Derrek Lee goes 3 for 4 with 3 RBI.  His 2-run single in the 8th inning completes Cubs comeback after an early 2-0 Pirates lead.  

April 27, 2005

Derrek Lee & Corey Patterson have big games for the Cubs vs the Reds at Wrigley Field. Lee's 6th inning 2-run home run makes the score Reds 6 Cubs 4. Lee's 7th inning 3-run home run ties the game for Corey Patterson's walk off home run in the ninth inning off Matt Belisle. Cubs win 8 to 7 as Lee & Patterson drive in all 8 Cubs runs and score 6 of the 8.

May 17, 2005

AT PNC Park in Pittsburgh, the Cubs defeat the Pirates 4-3.  Derrek Lee drives in all 4 runs going 4 for 4.  His 7th inning HR cuts Pirates lead to 3-2 & his 9th inning, 2-run home run is the game-winner.  

May 27, 2005

At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Rockies 10-3.  Derrek Lee goes 3 for 3 with 2 walks, 2 home runs, 3 runs scored & 3 RBI.  

June 1, 2005

Dodgers 9-5

In Los Angeles, the Cubs defeat the Dodgers 9-5. Derrek Lee goes 5 for 5 with 2 runs scored, a home run & 4 RBI.  

June 14, 2005

Cubs 14 Marlins 0

Derrek Lee goes 4 for 5 with a double, home run & 3 RBI.  

June 23, 2005

Brewers 8 Cubs 7

In Milwaukee, the Brewers defeat the Cubs 8-7 despite Derrek Lee's 2 home runs & 3 RBI.  


August 28, 2005

Cubs 14 Marlins 3

Derrek Lee goes 3 for 5 with 4 runs scored, 2 home runs & 3 RBI.  


September 13, 2005, 10 innings

Cubs defeat the Reds 4-3 in 10 innings at Wrigley Field in 10 innings on Todd Walker's walk-off RBI single.  Derrek Lee hits his 42nd home run of the season & 5 Cubs relief pitchers pitch 4 scoreless innings to let Cubs come back to win (Williamson, Ohman, Novoa, Dempster, Wuertz)


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September 6, 2006

Derrek Lee hits GS as Cubs defeat Pirates 7-2.


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July 15, 2007

At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Astros 7-6.  Derrek Lee goes 3 for 3 with a home run & 3 RBI.  


September 2, 2007

At Wrigley Field, the Astros take an early 5-1 lead.  Derrek Lee goes 3 for 3 with a walk, home run & 3 RBI.   His 8th inning 2-run home run gives the Cubs a 6-5 lead.  


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April 15, 2008

At Wrigley Field, the cubs defeat the Reds 9-5.  Derrek Lee goes 3 for 5 with a home run & 3 RBI.  

June 28, 2008

Derrek Lee goes 5 for 5 with 2 doubles & 3 RBI. but Cubs loss at US Cellular to White Sox 6-5.  

July 28, 2008

In Milwaukee, the Cubs defeat the Brewers 6-4.  Derrek Lee goes 3 for 5 with a double & 3 RBI.  His 9th inning RBI double begins a 2-run rally and breaks a 4-4 tie.  

September 6, 2008

In Cincinnati, the Cubs defeat the Reds 14-9.  Derrek Lee goes 4 for 6 with 2 doubles & 3 RBI on his birthday.  Cubs score in all 7 innings after the 2nd inning and survive the Reds scoring 8 of their 9 runs in the final 2 innings.  


September 18, 2008, 12 innings

Trailing 6-2 into the bottom of the ninth inning, Cubs score 4 runs to tie the game and win the game in the 12th inning on a walk-off single by Derrek Lee.  Mark DeRosa singles with 2 outs in the ninth inning and scores Geovany Soto's 3-run home run ties the game in the 9th.

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August 1, 20009

In MIami, the Cubs defeat the Marlins 9-8.  Derrek Lee goes 4 for 6 with 3 RBI that includes that 10th inning solo home run that gives the Cubs the lead.  

August 14, 2009 

Cubs beat Pirates 17-2 at Wrigley Field, scoring 10 runs in the 2nd inning. Kosuke Fukudome homers and Derrek Lee goes 3 for 3 with 2 doubles & 7 RBI

September 5, 2009

In New York, the Cubs defeat the Mets 5-3.  Derrek Lee goes 3 for 4 with 2 home runs & 3 RBI.  

September 21, 2009

In Milwaukee, the cubs defeat the Brewers 10-2.  Derrek Lee goes 3 for 5 with a walk, double, home run & 4 RBI.  

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May 25, 2010

At Wrigley Field, Cubs defeat the Dodgers 3-0 behind Derrek Lee's RBI single & 2-run home run.  Ryan Dempster & Carlos Marmol combine on a 3-hit shutout.  

June 9, 2010

 #Cubs, Derek Lee's hits his 300th career home run. Cubs 9 Brewers 4.

August 18, 2010 

Cubs trade Derrek Lee to the Braves for 3 pitchers