Cubs News: Giving key players their 2020 letter grades

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: The source of the Cubs offensive woes, unfortunately, came from the infielders.

Anthony Rizzo: C-

The captain put a .222/.342/.414 slash with 11 homers and a .755 OPS. The average is terrible, but the OBP is excellent, and the OPS is a few ticks above average. Could say it was an okay season, but his 0-for in the postseason hurt the team. If this were a guy on the bench, then the grade could be higher, but standards are held higher for the face of the franchise.

Kris Bryant: F

No question this season for the former NL MVP was horrific. He hit .206/.293/.351 with four home runs, 11 RBI and 73 OPS+. He battled more nagging injuries and could not catch up to fastballs. His value might have taken a big hit with this season. I do not believe this is who he is, but regardless this was an awful season for Bryant. His future will once again be in question.

Javier Baez: F 

El Mago showed off his glove this season, but not his bat. After being arguably the most productive hitter the past several years, Baez had an incredibly rough go in 2020. He hit .203/.238/.360 with eight homers, 75 strikeouts, and a dismal .599 OPS and 59 OPS+. That is not like him. He looked lost and frustrated all year. At least he had two walk-off hits. Put this season in the trash and come back to form in 2021.

Jason Kipnis: B-

The Cubs brought in the former Indians All-Star on a minor league deal. He started very well, hitting .282/.408/.564 in his first 15 games. He tailed off a bit and finished the year with a .237/.341/.404 slash with 16 RBI and a 101 OPS+ in 44 games. Overall he was a nice pickup for the Cubs both on the field and in the clubhouse. I think they got what they could reasonably ask for him.

David Bote: C

A very odd season for Bote. The overall numbers do not look great, .200/.303/.408 with a 90 OPS+ and seven home runs. However, he was first on the team in RBI (29), and he came up big in critical games with game-winning hits. Overall, Bote hit .379 with RISP with an OPS of 1.176 in that situation. Give the guy credit for being clutch.

Nico Hoerner: D-

I think we have to put this case in perspective. It is very reasonable to say or believe that the 23-year old kid just was not ready to be in the Bigs long-term just yet. The inexperience showed as he hit just .222/.312/.259 with no home runs and a 57 OPS+. Cubs might want to think about giving the kid some seasoning in 2021 before becoming a full-time MLB player. I believe the promise is still there. A bad grade, but not writing him off.