3 Cubs who deserve a shot at leadoff moving forward: #2 – Nick Madrigal
Looking ahead, landing at #2 is Nick Madrigal. Though Madrigal is done for the year with a hamstring tear, when he comes back to the Cubs next season, David Ross needs to give him his due shot at leading off.
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Madrigal is a career .317 hitter in his two years of big league play. Though 2020 was a shortened season and he missed a chunk of 2021, his 303 career at-bats is still a good sample size for someone that has made his mark in the league thus far. In 2020, he batted .340, while batting .307 in 2021 before going down with injury.
If you need any other reason to believe that he’s going to be an above average hitter, in his three years with Oregon State, he slashed a career .361/.422/.502 in 612 at-bats and then hit .309/.371/.398 in 628 ABs over the course of two years in the minors between A-Ball all the way through Triple-A Charlotte in the Chicago White Sox organization.
As you can tell in the numbers, Madrigal has always had an elite contact bat. He has mostly batted lower in the order in his big league career but with how frequently he can get on base I believe it warrants him a shot at leading off games. During those two years at the minors, he also swiped a 43 bases. Though he only has three at the big league level, harnessing that baserunning ability could also work in his favor in the leadoff spot.