Chicago Cubs Gradeout: Chris Coghlan’s bat provided career-high homers


Chicago Cubs. CHRIS COGHLAN. B. 148 GP, 64 R, 110 H, 25 2B, 16 HR, 41 RBI, 58 BB, .250 avg. LF/RF

When Chicago Cubs’ President Theo Epstein made the move to bring in former N.L. Rookie of the Year, outfielder Chris Coghlan, the man knew exactly what he was doing despite signs of decline after a strong debut back in 2009.

Epstein has been known to bringing in players that are overlooked or have been thrown to the curb. After recording only 12 home runs and 70 RBI across his final four seasons with the Florida and Miami Marlins, Coghlan hit the ground running in his first year with the Chicago Cubs.

Last season he pulled through with nine big flies, 41 RBI, 28 doubles, 109 hits, and seven stolen bases while hitting .283/.352/.452 through 125 games.

With a brand new skipper and a few more rookies to help this organization reach the next level, the 30-year-old lefty stepped up another level.

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Before Kyle Schwarber made his big league debut, Coghlan made 87 starts in left field while spreading out across the depth chart. As the season progressed, his playing time decreased as soon as Schwarber was called up and Kris Bryant made several starts in the outfield.

Aside from the outfield, Joe Maddon placed him at second base for a combined 15 games, three times at the hot corner, another five at first base in relief of Anthony Rizzo, and worked 21 games in right field.

The man was practically golden at every position except for second base where he committed only one error, dropping his fielding percentage down to .997 on the season.

When it came to his offensive production, the majority of his RBI came with runners on. While 10 home runs and as many RBI came via the solo home run, Coghlan tallied six big flies, 40 hits, and 31 RBI with someone on base.

He wasn’t much of a factor during the postseason. Coghlan made six appearances against the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets, going for a combined 1-for-12 in the batter’s box.

Despite him coming off the bench late in the season, there’s a good chance that Jed Hoyer and Epstein could bring him back for his third consecutive season with the club, leaving Chris Denorfia out of the picture.

Chicago’s main priority will be re-signing Dexter Fowler, who is expected to decline the qualifying offer that was extended to him last Friday.