Chicago Cubs: The man crush on David Bote is real, and he has earned it

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Everyone slammed on the panic button when Kris Bryant went down. But the Chicago Cubs found a worthy interim replacement in young David Bote.

You can’t really blame anyone who was slamming on that panic button. The Chicago Cubs losing one of, if not the, most valuable player on their roster is enough to cause worry in even the fiercest fans.

But, as the 2016 NL MVP works his way back from an ailing shoulder, Joe Maddon and the Cubs have turned to an unlikely interim replacement in David Bote. Bote is a 25-year-old rookie infielder who was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the eleventh round of the MLB draft in 2012 out of  Neosho County Community College Chanute in Kansas.

Called up and sent down

His current stint with the big league marks the third time he has been recalled from Triple-A, and the second time he has taken Kris Bryant’s roster spot. The latter is yet to swing a bat, so Bote’s importance looms large down the stretch.

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At the start of each of his stays of with the Cubs, the thought was that Bote was going to be a bench bat who might get an occasional start, but boy things can change quickly. Think a Tommy LaStella-type player.

Thus far in just 31 games, David Bote is hitting .338 and has driven in 14. It goes overlooked, but he’s also three-for-three in the stolen base department. He’s doing this all the while playing an above average third base and played a solid second base when asked to, as well.

He’s making things tough

Kris Bryant is expected back at some point this season, so even though the major league rosters expand to 40 on Sept. 1, the rosters shrink back down to 25 in the postseason, and that remains the Cubs’ primary focus.

Bote has just about cemented himself as a member of the Cubs roster going forward, so that would mean in all likelihood that Tommy La Stella would be the odd man out.

To be honest, I don’t know what it is about David Bote that brings me so much joy while I watch him, but if I had to take a guess, I’d say it’s because of his hustle and positive demeanor while on the field.

I think the biggest reason is due to his long road to the majors. He wasn’t a very highly rated prospect when he was coming out of school, nor was he rated too hyped within the Cubs’ organization.

Look, I get it, 31 games in a tiny sample size in the grand scheme of things, but you can’t help but be impressed with David Bote’s play so far this season. We’re talking about a guy who leads all of Major League Baseball in exit velocity. Yes, even outpacing guys like Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge.

Next. Cole Hamels is just what this team needed at the deadline. dark

The fact of the matter is that he doesn’t do anything “great,” but he does every aspect of the well, and it feels like he’s only going to get better as his career goes forward.