There’s always a question of how much stock should be put into spring training statistics. Depending on how well or poor a player is performing, it’s up in the air as to whether or not it carries into the regular season. Currently, Cubs have a 7-3 record and a mix of players who are hot, and who are not.
To some, statistics in spring training mean nothing. That’s because they don’t, especially not to a player with a guaranteed starting spot. However, spring performances do matter when it comes to players fighting for a roster spot or competing for a starting position.
Cubs: A few starting second base candidates have impressed in spring training.
The Cubs currently have no clear-cut starter at second base. Leading the way at the moment is Nico Hoerner, but not far behind him is Ildemaro Vargas.
Last season, a lack of spring training preparation and a shortened season seemed to affect Hoerner. The 23-year old slashed .222/.312/.259 in 48 games after putting up a line of .282/.305/.436 in 20 games during the 2019 season.
It looks like Hoerner is back on track this spring, posting a .563/.588/.938 line with one home run and four RBI in 16 at-bats. Hoerner has yet to strike out in a spring training game.
Vargas is looking to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster. The 29-year old was claimed off waivers by the Cubs last September after splitting time with the Twins and Diamondbacks. In just nine plate appearances with the Cubs in 2020, Vargas had two hits, one of which included a solo home run. Through 18 at-bats this spring, Vargas is slashing .444/.474/.556 with three RBI.
Other options to start at second base this season are David Bote and Eric Sogard.
Bote is a position where he will be kept as a reserve if he doesn’t earn the starting spot. Currently, Bote has a line of .188/.316/.375 with zero home runs and one RBI in 16 at-bats.
Sogard was invited to camp on a minor-league deal last week. The veteran infielder has spent ten seasons in the big leagues and can play around the entire infield. Sogard has just five plate appearances so far and recorded one hit and one strikeout. Even with his experience, Sogard will need an impressive camp to beat out the other infielders for a roster spot.