Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Which players could take a step back in 2017?

jfrancis
Nov 2, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the marquee with fans celebrating after game seven of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians outside of Wrigley Field. Cubs won 8-7. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the marquee with fans celebrating after game seven of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians outside of Wrigley Field. Cubs won 8-7. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports /

Ben Zobrist

Ben Zobrist, in my opinion, what the key piece the Chicago Cubs needed. Solid player. A veteran coming off a World Series title. Patient switch-hitter than can play any parts of the field. He is a player the knows the game. And, if you read the book he co-wrote with his wife Julianna, you know that he is persistent and works hard.

In 2016, he proved his worth, finishing above career averages in runs, walks, batting average, and on-base percentage. He hit 18 home runs, something he had not done since 2012, and walked more than he struck out for the second time in his career. All of this, plus his experience over the years, lead to clutch plays and a World Series MVP.

It pains me to say this, but I am not sure he will keep the numbers up. Don’t get me wrong, I know he can and I hope he does. However, the last time he scored 94 runs was in 2011. And his 96 walks were just one short of a career-high. I know that he will contribute, but not to the same level as 2016. Why? Javier Baez made a statement in the postseason that he is ready to play every day. And Kyle Schwarber showed that his bat needs to be in the line-up. There just may not be enough plate appearances to go around. I trust Zobrist to perform well, but if his playing time is cut into, his rhythm may be out of sync.

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