Chicago Cubs One Hit Wonders-Jeromy Burnitz

A first round pick in 1990 17th overall, went on to have a successful 14 year career with seven teams (MIL, NYM, CLE, COL, PIT, LAD, and CHC). That would be Jeromy Burnitz.  Everyone knows he had his best years in Milwaukee but 2005 with the Cubs at the age of 36 can’t go unnoticed by the people who saw it and definitely qualifies him for the list of one hit wonders with the Cubs.  It may not have been a gigantic year but it was very solid for an aging slugger at the end of his career.

After being drafted in 1990 Burnitz quickly became a recognized prospect as Baseball America ranked him the 50th best in all of baseball in the 1992 season.  In ’93 they ranked him as the 63rd best prospect in baseball.  As his career began as a big leaguer he never really had a full season of at-bats until 1997 with the Milwaukee Brewers where he hit .281/.382/.553 with 27HR and 85RBI.  After that he went four straight seasons with 30+ HR’s with Milwaukee and was a staple in the lineup for all his year with the Crew.  The best year of his career was 1999 where he made his first and only All-Star game and hit .270/.402/.561.

After a very solid year with the Rockies in 2004 where Burnitz hit 37 Home runs and drove in 110 runs the Cubs signed him as a free agent in February of 2005.  The 2005 Cubs went 79-83 and saw Derrick Lee put up an MVP type season.  Thirty-Six year old Burnitz quietly had a very solid year.  His triple slash sat at a respectable .258/.322/.435 with 24HR’s 87RBI and a .757OPS.  That 2005 season was good enough for a 1.5 WAR according to Fangraphs.  After the season the Cubs declined his option choosing to sign Jacque Jones and Burnitz went on to sign with Pittsburgh.

Unlike Bellhorn Jeromy does not have any big moments we can recognize him from but in his second to last season as a big leaguer Burnitz gave us Cubs fans something to cheer about(Well like….and Derrick Lee) in an otherwise frustrating season.

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