Chicago Cubs: Who has something to prove this spring?
Dexter Fowler, the now center fielder and lead off hitter for the Cubs. There is actually more pressure on him than maybe anyone has thought about. For Fowler personally, it’s a contract year. You want to put on a show to prove you’re going to be worth what your agent (Scott Boras) is going to demand you’re worth. But there is also competition ready and waiting for a chance to take the newly crowned lead off hitter’s spot.
Arismendy Alcantara showed last year that he is more than capable of being the Cubs center fielder. And with what has been reported as a solid winter ball session for Alcantara, he has the confidence to take that spot away at the very moment it might become open.
Fowler is still a young enough (Turns 29 in March), he may want to be apart of team that is ready to go on a wild run. If he were to come into the season and blow away everyone’s expectations, he might become a player the Cubs want to keep around. If that were to happen, those prospects waiting for a call-up then become trade chips. But, again, if that doesn’t happen, those same prospects are going to be there to compete next year for the center fielder’s spot.
Fowler also needs to show that his past numbers aren’t his best. His six-year stat line average while with Colorado shows a .270/.365/.423 percentage line with 40 homers, 210 runs batted in, 83 stolen bases, and 53 triples. His single season with Houston – .276/.375/.399 percentages with eight homers, 35 runs batted in, 11 stolen bases, and four triples. While the numbers are fairly consistent throughout, they aren’t really anything to get too excited about with a lead off hitter. I’d love to see his on base percentage higher and his stolen bases higher. Alcantara can put up bigger numbers and possibly some of those hot prospects too. Fowler needs to come in to prove he’s ready for the challenge.
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