Chicago Cubs: Is a new coaching staff the team’s biggest acquisition?

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: A Mallee disciple returns home

His counterpart on the offensive side of things, new hitting coach Anthony Iapoce, shares a lot of these characteristics, as well – and will hopefully reinvigorate a club that ranked 23rd in MLB with a .705 OPS after the All-Star Break and batted just .239 with a .303 on-base percentage in the month of September.

The team-wide offensive woes aligned with individual struggles (shocking, I know) – as we saw guys like Albert Almora, Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras go into a nosedive down the stretch. But in Iapoce, the Cubs are hoping that their young stars can recapture the magic that led them to a league-best 103 wins in 2016 and back-to-back division titles in ’16 and ’17.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the 2017 Texas Rangers became the first big league team ever to have nine different players smack at least 17 home runs in a single season under Iapoce’s tutelage. There’s little doubt Chicago boasts the talent to take a run at that figure in 2019.

Also similar to Hottovy, there is a strong sense of familiarity between most of the Cubs’ players and Iapoce. Prior to his work with Texas, he served as Chicago’s minor league hitting coordinator from 2013-2015 – a period of time that lines up with the rise of most of the team’s now-big leaguers.