Chicago Cubs: Who were the five best players on the 1998 team?
Chicago Cubs – #5: Grace was a staple in the middle of the order
Mark Grace spent 13 years on the North Side of Chicago – and during the 1990s, he amassed more base hits than any player in baseball. He finished his career with 2,445 knocks – and won a World Series with Arizona in 2001. But his 1998 showing was one of his strongest all-around performances.
Grace played in 158 games that year – the only player who appeared in more contests? Sosa, at 159. He smacked 39 doubles and put up a .401 OBP while playing a stellar defensive first base.
The former 24th round pick was a monster at Wrigley Field, slashing .327/.428/.482. While Sosa would look to put balls onto Waveland, Grace took what you gave him, slapping the ball all over the diamond, racking up base hits at will. He really excelled as the team’s cleanup hitter, evidenced by a .932 OPS out of the fourth spot in the order and a season total 3.8 WAR.