Chicago Cubs: David Bote surged late, erasing his early season struggles

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Though Chicago Cubs infielder David Bote struggled early on, he came on late in the year, living up to his recent five-year, $25 million contract extension.

Despite being given a five-year contract extension before the season started, Chicago Cubs infielder David Bote struggled early in the 2019 season. Yes, he started off hot in the very beginning of the season, but overall cooled down so much in the second half that he was eventually optioned to Triple A Iowa.

After the All-Star Break, Bote got his act together and was able to turn his season around. By the time September rolled around, Bote became debatably better than your average ballplayer. The 26-year-old third baseman hit .239/.319/.408, over the course of the 2019 season, which isn’t terrible considering his start to the year. It seems as if Bote has been overlooked, especially because his game play was limited since he was sent down to Triple-A Iowa twice.

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While most of Bote’s success stemmed from after the All-Star break to the end of the season, his success could have been even greater than it was. Why? He was optioned to Triple-A not once, but twice due to the need for roster space.

It wasn’t wrong of the team to send him down, but he could have made a bigger impact on the team if he spent all that time in the bigs. During his time with Triple-A Iowa, Bote played three games, had 10 at-bats and had one measly hit.

It’s more than possible that Bote improved during his time in the minors. However, there is probably more to it than that.

For instance, when Bote realized he was struggling in the beginning of the season, he made minor changes to combat his weaknesses such as his batting stance to better make contact with fastballs. This change could have taken time for Bote to adjust to, thus results weren’t present until the second half of the season.

Aside from his offense, Bote also made strives in other areas of the game, as well. A prime example of this took place during the last weekend of the season, when Bote stole second on Saturday night’s matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bote, resembling Javier Baez, slid into second safely as he avoided being tagged out by keeping his left arm at his side. On Saturday, the Cubs, despite struggling throughout the entire month of September, beat the Cardinals by a score of 8-6.

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With the end of the regular season among us, many changes are being made in efforts for the Cubs to contend in the 2020 season. Hopefully with this idea of contention in mind, players who are quietly succeeding such as Bote, will get more playing time and fan attention.