Chicago Cubs: Ranking the greatest players of the decade – #20-11

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Chicago Cubs: No. 15: Jason Heyward

Jason Heyward is one of the most important free agent signings that the Chicago Cubs have made in the Theo Epstein era. Though he hasn’t hit as much as we were hoping for when he came over before the 2016 season, he still has had a solid impact on the team over the past four years.

Though Heyward hasn’t hit for much power with the Cubs, we can at least say that his RBI totals have been consistent: 49, 59, 57, and 62. He also won a Gold Glove award in 2016 and 2017, so there’s that. Perhaps what Heyward will be known most for is the motivational speech that he made during the rain delay of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. As we remember, the Cubs quickly rallied when play resumed in the tenth inning and held on to win.

Heyward had his best season at the plate with the Cubs in 2019. Though he was up-and-down, the overall numbers were his best, as he hit 21 home runs and drove in 62 while posting a .772 OPS. Though he’s not the defender he once was, he still plays a solid outfield, and his willingness to play a lot of center field to accommodate the midseason trade for Nicholas Castellanos is also noteworthy.

Was the Heyward signing worth it? In terms of the team winning the 2016 World Series it was, though he hasn’t hit nearly enough to warrant his massive contract. Still, there is hope that he can build on a decent 2019 and have a good year in 2020.