Chicago Cubs: Infield produced some of the team’s best offense
Anthony Rizzo: A+
Rizzo was Rizzo, and that deserves a very good grade. Even with the power outage he had for a chunk of the season, he still hit 27 homers with a .293/.405/.520 slash and a 137 OPS+. Coming back on one ankle and hitting like he did in the season’s final week earned him the plus.
Kris Bryant: A-
Overall the former NL MVP had a very good season. It’s hard to complain about a .282/.382/.521 slash. He came up big in several wins, but also gets a minus because there was some significant streakiness. Numbers-wise, good stuff sporting a 4.9 fWAR in 147 games.
Javier Baez: B+
Hard to imagine grading El Mago lower than an A, but the second half of his season was plagued with injuries and inconsistent play. Still, he finished with 29 homers, an .848 OPS and 113 OPS+. It was an overall good season for him, but we did not see quite as much magic as we saw in 2018.
He bounced back from that horrific second-half in 2018 and put up a 24-homer season with a .272/.355/.533 slash – which was great to see. Unfortunately, he had the hammy issue in August.
Probably the least talked about nice surprise of 2019. Caratini found a much more consistent bat both in terms of ability to get on base and hit for some pop. His work behind the plate also got noticeably better and really seemed to work well with the pitching staff. Those homers off Jacob DeGrom? Legendary.
David Bote: C
His weaknesses have been exploited by MLB pitchers and the defense took a step back. Bote still did have some nice stretches, but it is pretty clear he is a bench piece. A solid bench piece, but a bench piece no less.
It is too bad that Descalso fell SO hard. His April at the plate was very productive at .263/.349/.408, but the rest of the way…yikes. The ankle injury seemed to be his downfall.
Ben Zobrist: B?
Again, the situation was very odd and he missed most of the season due to personal reasons. Give the man credit for hitting very well when coming back. Sadly the defense was very sloppy and costly down the stretch. No hard feelings toward Zobrist.
Tony Kemp: D+
Great dude, played some good defense and seemed like an ideal teammate to have. Just did not produce with the bat where he was really needed.
Nico Hoerner: Incomplete
Had to at least mention their most talked about prospect. Showed some very nice promise.