First off I would like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope everybody has a great Holiday full of nothing but love, family, presents and joy to close out 2013.
Now onto the topic of discussion. I was a little skeptical of the decision to sign outfielder Nate Schierholtz considering the lack of offense he’s provided in his six year Major League career before joining the Cubbies.
As time went on, I slowly became a believer of this man. After becoming Chicago’s primary right fielder, Schierholtz set career highs in almost every offensive stat he could. He set a career high with 462 at bats, 56 runs, 116 hits, 32 doubles, 21 home runs, 68 RBI’s, 29 walks and 94 strike outs.
Nate, who turns 30 years old on February 15th (we share a birthday), will be expected to help back up Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo with some major run production in 2014.
The scoring may take a bit of a hit early on since the team will be starting out the year without Alfonso Soriano for the first time since 2006 season. The team picked up a little help in center field after acquiring Justin Ruggiano from the Miami Marlins, but Schierholtz will still be looked at as a key at bat whenever he’s up against right handed pitchers.
Nate hit 20 home runs and 65 RBI’s against right handers with a batting line of .262/.300/.499.
They also re-signed veteran outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who turns 29 years old five days after Nate turns 30.
It’ll be a challenging start to the season, but it should be an exciting experience. He’ll get majority of the playing time in right pending anything too serious, but could become a valuable trade chip depending on how well he does.
I figured he would have been traded after the year he was having. His name was thrown around in the rumor mill but nothing happened. August appeared to be his favorite month of the year as he hit six home runs, 19 RBI’s and picked up 23 hits.
September is the only month where he didn’t hit three or more home runs.
So will Nate Schierholtz have another big year for the Chicago Cubs? I can see it happening, but he could be moved if he does.