Bryan LaHair went from being a can’t miss Major League Baseball prospect with the Seattle Mariners to the next big thing for the Chicago Cubs. After appearing in just 20 games for Chicago in 2011, LaHair got off to a blazing start with the Cubs in 2012. So hot, in fact, that he was a Cubs’ representative in the 2012 MLB All-Star game in Kansas City, going into the game with a .286 batting average and 14 home runs and 30 RBI in his first full season.
Yet, as the year progressed, LaHair regressed and was eventually replaced by the new future first baseman of the Cubs in Anthony Rizzo. After the All-Star break, LaHair hut just .202 with only two more home runs and 10 RBI throughout the unofficial second half of the season. He finished the year with an overall average of .259 with 26 home runs and 40 RBI in what could turn out to be his first – and final – full season playing MLB for any big league team.
LaHair reportedly signed a two year deal to play with the Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. LaHair was clearly not going to be the answer for the Cubs at first base, but to see him go from an MLB All-Star to the bench to the Japanese League in four short months is not something that many people could have predicted.
It may never be seen if LaHair just needed a change of scenery and a new opportunity to prove that he could regain his stroke in the minors that led many scouts to believe that he would be an All-Star in the big leagues for years to come. The native from Worcester, Massachusetts is still just 30-years-old, meaning he could prove himself in the Japanese League and then receive one more chance at playing for a different MLB team.
Then again, he could also either find a new home with the Hawks and remain playing overseas.
But for a player who was seen as the next big thing for a team looking for its first World Series championship since 1908, it turns out to be just another disappointing development for the cursed Cubbies, who remain the lovable losers of all of professional sports.
The post MLB Rumors: Bryan LaHair Goes From Chicago Cubs All-Star To Japanese Pacific League In 4 Short Months? appeared first on Hardball Chat Baseball Blog.