Cubs: The pros and cons of putting the ball in play so far

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Through their first seven games, the Chicago Cubs have done a solid job of putting the ball in play. Their strikeout rate is 21.6 percent, which is 10th-best in all of Major League Baseball This has helped allow the offense to post a 118 wRC+ which is sixth-best in baseball. Overall this is a nice change of pace for fans who had watched the offense have a lot of holes in their swings in the previous years. While this is good, there are also some issues.

Cubs: Good contact but lack of power has led to a lot of double plays

While putting the ball in play has been nice to see, the offense still lacks power. They have relied on spraying singles around the diamond more than driving the ball. The offense’s lack of slugging and hitting the ball in the air has resulted in a lot of groundballs. The Cubs currently boast the highest groundball rate by any team in the league at 52.9 percent. It is no surprise that the team also leads the league in double plays (10).

One who followed the Cubs offseason probably shouldn’t be surprised. The middle infield of Nico Hoerner and Nick Madrigal is one of high contact but virtually no pop. Both of those guys have shown they can use their contact abilities to hit line drives and collect base hits in their young careers, but so far they have just not lifted the ball enough.

This team has done a really nice job getting on base overall, posting the third-highest OBP in baseball (.356), but they will want to hit more line drives and flyballs going forward. There will not be a scenario where guys like Hoerner and Madrigal start driving the ball consistently, but more solid line drives would be ideal.

It is also worth noting that the current player with the highest groundball rate on the team is Frank Schwindel (71.4 percent), and the Cubs will look for him to drive the ball. If he can start doing that again, then that will make a big difference.

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There is a lot to like about the approach of this Cubs offense so far. If they can just square up the ball a tad better in certain situations then things can really get rolling.