Freddie Bynum was recently picked up from the Cubs for a player to be named later, which could turn out to be just about anyone that we don't care about, I guess. Bynum is nothing to get excited about, but let's have a look anyway.
First off, here's one thing I can support: The man's given name is Freddie Lee Bynum. That is an awesome name. If that was my name, I'd do the thing where I use that whole thing when I introduce myself to people, like Jerry Don Gleaton or Joe Don Baker. Freddie Lee, your name is not Jack Brown.
But as a ballplayer, Freddie Lee is pretty much a spare part. In 698 minor league games, Bynum has a .275/.347/.362 career line, which just is not going to translate to major league success. He has speed, but he's never been a terribly effective base stealer. He can play second and all three outfield positions, which you'd think is useful, and it sort of is, but when the player can't hit enough to carry his weight, you wind up with things like Brandon Fahey in left field, and it's just insanely frustrating, because how the hell can't you find a better left fielder than Brandon Fahey, or Freddie Lee?
Bynum may have, in fact, been acquired simply because he has some speed, he probably plays the game "the right way" (poorly, with energy), and he has some positional flexibility, which Perlozzo has seemed to truly adore and go out of his way to overuse in his short time as the skipper.
Bynum, 27 in March, was drafted as a shortstop by the A's in the 2000 amateur draft, in the second round, Oakland's first pick of the draft after they had to give the Angels their first round pick as compensation for Mike Magnante. So, in a strange way, Freddie Bynum's career came about thanks to Mike Magnante.
He made his debut in August 2005 for Oakland, but was just a roster expansion call-up. He was traded to the Cubs on March 31, 2006, in a three-team swap that also included the Texas Rangers. The Cubs got Bynum, the A's got Juan Dominguez, and the Rangers got John Rheinecker, The Mighty John Koronka and cash.
Bynum's best offensive season was in 2002, at High-A Visalia in the California League. He hit .306/.385/.390 and went 41-for-62 in steals. It was his first season as a full-time second baseman. He'd add ability to play the outfield to his arsenal in 2004. 2005 was the last time he saw any real time at shortstop.
Bynum played 71 games for the Cubs this year, which says more about how awful the Cubs were than anything good about Bynum. Freddie Lee hit .257/.308/.456 with four homers, including a game-tying, pinch-hit solo shot against Milwaukee in the top of the ninth inning on September 27.
Bats left, throws right, from Greenville, NC, so he's somewhat of a local boy. I wouldn't expect (or hope) that we'll see too much of Freddie Lee in Baltimore.