Chicago Cubs: No. 46 – David Bote
The Chicago Cubs drafted David Bote in the 18th round of the 2012 draft. Coming into spring training in 2018, Bote had had a solid but unspectacular minor league career, and there was little reason to believe that he would be much of an impact player in the organization. However, Bote impressed in spring training that year and earned a call-up early in the season.
Early on, Bote showed some signs of being a decent bench player. Yet Bote would become a fan favorite due to his late-inning heroics later in the season. On July 26, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bote hit a game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth. (Anthony Rizzo would later hit a home run to win the game.)
But his real signature moment would come on Sunday Night Baseball on August 12 against the Washington Nationals. Down 3-0, with two outs, Bote came up with the bases loaded. Down to his last strike, Bote deposited one well over the wall in center field: a walk-off grand slam to give the Cubs a 4-3 win. On the year in 2018, Bote batted .239 with six home runs and 33 RBI.
The Cubs surprised a lot of people by signing Bote to a five-year extension at the beginning of the 2019 season, as they must have felt that he could be a contributor for a long time. Bote did contribute again in 2019, as he raised his OPS from .727 to .785 while playing second base, third base and shortstop in part-time duty. His signature game of 2019 came on June 5 against the Colorado Rockies, a 9-8 Cubs win in which he drove in seven runs.
Given that Bote is signed long-term, expect him to have plenty of chances to climb up this list in the 2020s.