With the trade deadline looming, David Bote was potentially looking like the Chicago Cubs most promising trade chip. He put an end to that conversation with his immediate impact after returning to the big league club Thursday.
David Bote had himself quite the day Thursday. He started the day in Triple-A Iowa where he was expecting to play but was scratched early in the morning. With Kris Bryant headed back to the disabled list, Bote was recalled by the Chicago Cubs and immediately inserted in the starting lineup for their matinee finale.
Bote started at second base where he made a diving stop in the second inning to potentially save a pair of runs. Batting in the ninth spot, Bote singled to center field in the fifth inning on his way to scoring a run.
His biggest at bat of the game though came in the ninth inning with the Cubs trailing the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-4. Facing an 0-2 count with Ben Zobrist on first, Bote turned on a pitch from Brad Boxberger and blasted it into the stands in center field to tie the game. His heroics set the stage for Anthony Rizzo, who hit a game-winning walkoff home run two pitches later.
Bote has done this dance before.
Bote has already been called up and sent back down on four other occasions this season. When the Cubs are battling injuries and need someone to fill in, the infielder has been at the top of their list. This is the second time Bote has been called up while Bryant is on the disabled list.
Although it’s a small sample size of just 21 games, Bote has shown the Cubs he can play at the big league level. To this point, Bote is batting .356 for the Cubs with 15 hits and 11 RBI. He’s done a great job of getting on base to the tune of a .421 on-base percentage while drawing eight walks and scoring nine runs.
After spending the last five seasons in the Cubs minor league system, mostly as an unknown, Bote has quickly become one of their most valuable prospects. Unless packaged for top-talent starting pitching, the Cubs should look to keep the 25-year-old infielder.
Not only should the Cubs keep Bote, but they should find a spot for him on the big league club. There’s nowhere for him to start on this team, when healthy of course, but he could be a great tool for Joe Maddon. He would be a great right-handed bat to have off the bench in a late-game situation who can also play multiple positions in the field.
For the meantime, Bote should make himself comfortable with the Cubs. With Bryant’s timetable unknown, Bote could end up spending the rest of the season on the big league roster.