Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters

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Franmil Reyes / Chicago Cubs
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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.

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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.