Chicago Cubs: Projections for ideal bounceback seasons by key players

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kris Bryant / Chicago Cubs
Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite seeing them win a division title in 2020, it was frustrating to see the Chicago Cubs core players all have down years. There is no 60-game season in 2021 that can allow for prolonged struggles from the core hitters and still make the postseason. Even with Kyle Schwarber gone we still have to look at Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Willson Contreras.

Cubs: Returning to a ‘normal season’ in 2021

Lets face it, 2020 was a weird season and a small sample size of games compared to a normal one. Returning to a more typical 162-game campaign alone might help certain players return to their normal playing levels. How much of the core’s 2020 struggles were attributed to the weird season, or were simply down years coincidentally all at the same time is not fully known. Regardless, what is done is done and it is time to move forward.

Looking for optimism in 2021, the resumes of these players give them the benefit of the doubt they bounce back to some capacity. Even if consistency has not always been there with these guys in their careers, they have typically finished their seasons with good or even great numbers. Right now it seems unlikely that they will all keep trending downwards.

So how can this core get back on track? Here is a look at what bounceback seasons will ideally look like for each of the core four hitters. Keep in mind that the ideal stat lines are just basic ranges of where they should ideally be.