Chicago Cubs top three reasons they win in 2020

Albert Almora Jr. #5, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Albert Almora Jr. #5, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs:  Players are stepping up this season

When you look at contracts, turnover and how much longer this team will keep most of its core from the World Series, the Cubs pretty much have this year and next year to make a move toward another championship.

In 2022 there will be a massive turnover for the core Cub players that won the World Series in 2016. Fans should brace themselves now for the fact that the band is breaking up in 2022, and the Cubs are going to look like a Chicago Bulls roster. If Ross is still a manager at that time, it will be interesting to see how he manages a team made up of mostly new players, but I digress.

This significant turnover in 2022 means that now or never, certain Cubs player has got to step up and begin playing at a high-level. For the most part, those players have accepted that challenge this season.

This is a huge reason that I believe the Cubs are going to have a monster season around the corner.  What’s even better? Some of those players have already begun red-hot spring training and are marching toward the regular season. Here are the clues that the Cubs are going to be better than anyone suspects in 2020.

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The first clue was when Almora came out swinging and is now sitting with a crazy .714 batting average. Expect one of the most productive seasons from the young centerfielder as he comes into his own this season.

Almora was a question mark after a poor finish to last season but has simplified some of the components of his swing and is killing the ball once again. Almora already has an excellent reputation as an outfielder; now, it looks as though his swing has caught up with his defense.

Another clue that the Cubs will be better than anyone suspected this season is that outfielder Ian Happ and utility David Bote are tearing up spring training. Happ was sent down last season for a poor performance at the plate.

There isn’t much more room for learning on the job this season, and Happ will have to show his swing-skills if he hopes to find himself still in Wrigley Field next season. That’s why Ross has given Happ leadoff hitter duties on the Cubs alternate spring training team. While Happ has done pretty well with three hits and four RBIs this spring, Happ’s .375 batting average is a testament that he’s changed his game – even though the rest of Cubs B Team isn’t pulling ‘their’ weight.

Bote signed a five-year deal with the Cubs last April for $15 million through 2024. The Cubs have two options in Bote’s deal that could pay him up to $28.6 million over seven years if the utility player, like Almora and Happ, begins to deliver when he comes to the plate.  Bote knows precisely what is on the line, which is his future as a Chicago Cub and the chance to make professional career-money if he can become a reliable offensive weapon for the Cubs.

Next. This bullpen could be a strength for this team. dark

That’s why Bote showed up early to spring training; he knows that he must make that transition. Last season, Bote garnered a respectable .257 batting average but was reaping the rewards of an early spring training workout hosting a whopping .400 average.

When the starting stable of regulars does well, then the Cubs tend to show respectable results. When all of the other regular talent on the Cubs bench emerges, including the fired-up free agents like second baseman Jason Kipnis and outfielder Steven Souza Jr., then the Cubs are going to win big in 2020.