Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
Cubs will have big-time sluggers when they return to October
At the other end of the career timeline, veterans like Wisdom can also benefit from data-enhanced hitting instruction. He’s sort of the anti-Hoerner: he’ll never hit for much average but he can squeeze an awful lot of run production out of a batting average that would make traditionalists cringe. In short, it’s possible that new performance data and humans’ growing ability to understand it are enabling the bending of the aging curve: ramping young players up faster and helping old players improve beyond the age that improvement has traditionally ceased.
There’s nothing revolutionary about these concepts today; readers of the The MVP Machine will be well-acquainted with them. What’s new is seeing the Cubs organization implement them in real time. With a handful of exceptions, the crew of the S.S. Cursebreaker arrived nearly fully-formed. Most players on the Cubs 2016 roster had not spent a huge amount of time in the Chicago farm system. That system was a good finishing school, but generally struggled to work with rawer material.
It will be different this time. If the current Cubs regime delivers a deep playoff run, the roster will feature more of a homegrown flavor. The ‘next great Cubs team’ will likely feature a heavier dose of players who started farther from the majors but could be developed faster and more reliably.
So yes, the Cubs will be bringing more power into the lineup next season. But a lot of it may already be somewhere in the system.