Chicago Cubs: The unusual suspects leading the way

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: David Bote

When David Bote was making his back and forth trips from Iowa to Chicago, many didn’t realize who he was, or what he might be capable of. One walk-off grand slam later, and the expectations shot up a notch. But as the 2018 season went on, Bote was unable to maintain the success he had out of the gate.

As this spring went on, it was beginning to become a question of who would fill the remaining bench for the Cubs. Most believed that Ian Happ was a lock to start the spring. But he had a poor showing, while Bote showed a reemergence of that slugging and power. In a stunning move, Happ was optioned to Iowa while Bote helped fill in the 25-man roster.

Bote’s start this season has matched how he started 2018, with a slash of .400/.471/.533 and an OPS of 1.004. Last season, his average exit velocity was 95.3. He’s added some size to his frame, so if he can make consistent contact, he could make a run at that again this year.

So far, he’s spread the ball around and is without a home run so far this year. But the slugging will come, and after getting a five-year extension this season, the Cubs see something in him that makes them believe he’s got an upside that worth locking in.