3 Chicago Cubs who deserve a crack at leadoff moving forward

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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Rafael Ortega / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

3 Cubs who deserve a shot at leadoff moving forward: #3 – Rafael Ortega

First off, we keep it simple with Rafael Ortega who has routinely been the leadoff guy since the All-Star break. Ortega has been one of the brighter spots in a mostly uneventful lineup ever since Chicago made significant moves at the deadline at the end of July.

Ortega is currently slashing .296/.355/.477 out of the leadoff spot with eight home runs and 26 driven in. He has accumulated a valuable 1.4 WAR in 199 at-bats. On top of that, he has eight stolen bases on the year, not afraid to show off his speed and get into scoring position to hopefully be driven in and score a run. With an above average .268 mark on the year, his bat is more than needed in the line up moving forward.

Ortega has been poised to prove himself and has shown what he’s capable of in the second half of the season. With everything becoming about exit velocity and launch angle these days, having a .300 hitter in the lineup is somewhat of a rarity. A league average batting average is only .242, so it puts it into perspective how valuable a hitter than can consistently get on base can be for a ball club that collectively needs a better on base percentage.

If Ortega can stay hot at the dish and keep making adjustments to keep his strikeout rate palatable, he is absolutely a candidate to remain the leadoff man in the lineup moving forward.