Is Coghlan ready to shed the bad luck at the plate?
Make no mistake, I don’t just write for a Chicago Cubs blog, I’m a lifelong fan. But my time as a writer has helped me to become more analytical, instead if simply saying “I like this guy, he’ll break out and be solid”. (See anything I wrote onDarwin Barney
). So this may sound a little bit like that, but I have statistics to prove it actually could be the case.
Chris Coghlan is about to break out.
First, I spend much of my time reading about the Cubs, and I spend a fair share of time in Cubs groups on social media. Coghlan is not well liked. Of course, fans are fickle and expectations seem to have changed, so a slump will turn the tide of a good handful against you. I’ve defended him, pointing out his line drive rates, his low BAbip and just overall tough luck at the plate.
But things may finally be swinging in his direction and that means nothing but good things for the Cubs. Last year, Coghlan failed to make the team out of Spring Training. A few injuries and poor play and he found his way to Chicago in May. He didn’t exactly explode out of the gate and was hitting as low as .206 when the calendar turned to July.
From then on, Coghlan batted .312 over the last 80 games of the season with seven home runs and 37 RBIs. His BAbip over those 80 games was .368. He was the best hitter on the team over the last half of the season. He played a solid left field, and the Cubs looked to have found a keeper in the former NL Rookie of the Year winner.
Fast forward to this year.
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Just 10 games ago he sat at .200, and the fans in the Cubs’ groups were not kind. My defense of him was going to need some help. And then he provided said help. Over his last 10 games, Coghlan is hitting .296 but has just one home run and three RBIs. But it’s more about turning the proverbial corner. His BAbip over this stretch? Yep, .368. Same as his solid second half of last year.
Now 10 games isn’t enough to declare anything besides improvement from the previous 10. But based on timing of last year and when he finally put it together, Coghlan is right on track with that. And when he won the Rookie of the Year in the National League in 2009 it was a similar story. He didn’t really stand out till July, and then claimed his prize.
So it may just be that he’s a slow starter, and as the weather warms up in Chicago, so will Coghlan.