Chicago Cubs: A look at the projected 2016 starting lineup
Aug 7, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward (22) reacts after driving in a run with a base hit in the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Center Field: Jason Heyward
This offseason proved to be, if not, better than last year that reeled in southpaw Jon Lester and N.L. Manager of the Year, Joe Maddon. Even though Dexter Fowler will end up playing elsewhere, Epstein and Hoyer found a reliable replacement to fill a gap in the depth chart.
Heyward made his big league debut against his new team back in 2010, homering off Carlos Zambrano in a huge 16-5 Atlanta Braves win on Opening Day. He finished the opening month with six homers and 19 RBI, leading his club to a postseason match-up against the N.L. Rookie of the Year at the time, Buster Posey and his San Francisco Giants.
For those worrying about his primary position, he did enter the league as a primary right fielder but has experience in center. Yes, he’s only made 30 starts at the position in his five-year career, but he’ll enter the season as the everyday center fielder for the North Siders.
In those 30 starts (32 combined appearances), his glove is perfect, having two assists, one double play, and 54 put outs. If anything, there’s a chance he’ll swap positions, allowing Soler to either move to left, sending Chris Coghlan into center depending on Joe’s lineup changes.
We all know how he loves to mix things up from time-to-time, so don’t worry just yet, Cubs fans. At least, they have another solid defender out there who can get on base.
Next: Soler Power