Chicago Cubs: Valuing what matters – defense and getting on base
Since the Cubs dealt LeMahieu to the Rockies along with Tyler Colvin in exchange for Ian Stewart, the former second-round pick has evolved into a defensive wizard who’s no slouch with the stick, either.
He took a fairly significant step in the wrong direction this season – at least offensively. His average is down 30 points and his OBP has fallen roughly 50 points year-over-year. That being said, he’s hit a career-high 15 long balls this year, giving the Rockies some more pop.
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Now, I know what you’re going to say. He plays at Coors Field. Rockies’ players aren’t near as gifted offensively as their numbers suggest. I’ve heard them all – and, honestly, I still don’t care. He can hold his own with the stick and brings a ton of value with the glove.
A two-time Glove Glove winner, LeMahieu knows his way around the second base bag. Pairing him with someone like Javier Baez up the middle immediately gives the team a defense that’s probably even better than the Russell-Baez combo we’ve come to love.
Bleacher Report pointed to the Cubs as a ‘dark-horse’ candidate to land LaMahieu this offseason – which is what prompted this piece. But I hardly consider them a dark-horse at this point. Simply put, he makes too much sense to look past Chicago as a potential destination.