Chicago Cubs: More position players
David Bote: B. This one is somewhat hard to judge. Somehow, Bote leads the team in RBIs with 17, as he continues to establish a reputation as a guy who can come through in big situations. Yet the batting average and OBP are down significantly from last year. With Kris Bryant missing time due to injury, Bote has been asked to take on a bigger role, and the results have been mixed. He is playing a capable third base.
Nico Hoerner: B-. This one’s also difficult to give a fair assessment on because I still feel like Hoerner was rushed to the big leagues last year (albeit out of necessity). He’s shown some flashes of being a good major league hitter, though there’s still some work to do for him to get where he needs to be. This year, he’s drawing more walks than he did last year, though he’s hitting for less power.
Ian Happ: A. Happ has been the Cubs’ most consistent hitter to this point. He’s tied for the team lead in home runs (six) and second in RBIs (15) while his .986 OPS is by far the best on the team. The best part is that he’s drawn an incredible 21 walks so far, which also leads the team. Oh, and he’s also played some pretty good defense in the outfield, being willing to play wherever Ross puts him.
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Jason Heyward: B+. Heyward is actually third on the team in OPS, behind Happ and Kipnis, which is as much a testament to how bad some of the regulars have struggled as it is to how well he’s played. Still, that mark would be the best he’s put up since his rookie season of 2010. Last year, he showed flashes of improving as a hitter and has continued to do so this year. Again, he won’t be a star, but he’s at least been a decent contributor.
Kyle Schwarber: C-. Though he’s tied with Happ for the team lead in home runs, and he’s shown some improvement as an outfielder, Schwarber so far has taken a big step backward at the plate after a promising second half last year. His OPS has fallen to .768, which would be the worst mark of his career (excluding his very brief 2016 campaign). Last year, he really looked locked in the second half; this year, it just doesn’t look like he’s attacking the ball the same way.