After putting up an impressive performance in Spring Training for the Chicago Cubs, I-Cubs Trent Giambrone has offered mixed results down on the farm thus far in 2019.
This spring, Chicago Cubs fans were given a pleasant surprise from an unlikely hero in Trent Giambrone. He posted a rather impressive .324/.395/.588 slash line in 19 games played, making his presence known to the world.
His time in Iowa, however, has been much less fruitful. Sitting with only a .220 batting average and an OPS of only .743, it seems clear that he has not been able to replicate the success he had in Arizona.
The one big positive for Giambrone in 2019, however, is his power. Despite a lower batting average and on-base percentage, he has 13 long balls in 65 games played for the Iowa Cubs.
Immediately, results like these make him seem comparable to Kyle Schwarber: another low average, high power masher for the Cubs except in the middle infield. However, unlike Schwarber, Giambrone is suffering from a lack of on-base ability, with an OBP sitting at .290.
This trend continues an apparent power surge in recent years for Giambrone. Last year in Double-A Tennessee, he served up 17 big flies in 116 games: a high mark for him in his minor league career.
In the field, Giambrone has been a below average defender at his primary position of second base with a .950 fielding percentage, but a solid bat like his could make up for lack of defense.
Of course, there is still plenty of time for Giambrone to grow and mature as a player with this only being his first year in Triple-A. However; it would take an impressive turnaround from Giambrone or an unthinkable calamity to see him receive a call-up to the Chicago Cubs this year.
In a year or so, depending on his development in Triple-A, Giambrone’s power bat could prove a useful depth piece for a Cubs club that has had difficulty getting production from the second base position. In particular, Daniel Descalso and Addison Russell have both faced massive struggles at the plate in 2019.
For now, we can only wait to see if Giambrone’s fiery spring was a glimpse into the future of the player he can grow into. There’s no rush to get him up to Chicago anytime soon as the Cubs are likely to address any shortcomings with trades for more experienced players down the stretch.