Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Five players who need big seasons in 2017

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Oct 26, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs player Kyle Schwarber hits a RBI single against the Cleveland Indians in the 5th inning in game two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 26, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs player Kyle Schwarber hits a RBI single against the Cleveland Indians in the 5th inning in game two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 29, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward (22) hits a single against the Cleveland Indians during the second inning in game four of the 2016 World Series at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 29, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward (22) hits a single against the Cleveland Indians during the second inning in game four of the 2016 World Series at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /

Jason Heyward, OF

When this list started, many could imagine the end of it. Jason Heyward had one of the worst seasons a player could have at the plate in 2016. He played in 142 games for the Cubs in 2016, and slashed .230/.306/.325 with seven home runs and 49 RBI. That horrible effort came after Heyward hit .293 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals the year prior.

Heyward has taken measures to improve upon his terrible season in 2016. His hands now start a touch lower, and he has been able to hit the ball with more authority thus far in 2017.

The 27-year-old Heyward has five RBI so far in 2017, and an OBP north of .350. The Cubs are looking for his numbers to come back up to 2015 levels in 2017. They will need his bat in the bottom half of the order to balance out Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo at the top.

Will the offense match the defense?

One area that fans need not worry about with Heyward is the field. Heyward won his third straight Gold Glove in 2016, and fourth of his career.

If Heyward can have an OBP of .330 with 13-15 home runs and 55-60 RBI to go along with more great defensive plays, many Cubs fans will be happy.

A bounce back season for Heyward will be welcomed with open arms. If he can get hot and stay hot, Heyward can lengthen the Cubs’ lineup and make it scarier than it is now.

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