3 Chicago Cubs scenarios where a Cody Bellinger extension makes sense
By Jake Misener
3 Chicago Cubs scenarios where a Cody Bellinger extension makes sense: #1 - Seiya Suzuki fails to find his power stroke in his sophomore campaign
After missing spring training with an oblique injury, Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki still hasn't settled in at the plate - although his two-hit effort on Wednesday that included a double was a promising sign.
On the year, he's batting just .264/.350/.363 with that slugging percentage really jumping out as a problem who spent the offseason bulking up in hopes of bringing more consistency and power to the lineup in 2024. Inked to a five-year, $85 million deal that runs through 2026, Suzuki has to drive the ball for extra bases if the Cubs want to contend. It's as simple as that.
We haven't seen it yet, at least not in the first 100+ plate appearances of the season. He ranks in the bottom 12 percent of the league in barrel rate and checks in at the 30th percentile in xSLG, troubling signs for the 28-year-old. Odds are, with time and more reps, things start trending in the right direction.
But if by the end of his second year in the league, Suzuki hasn't put together a lengthy stretch where he blends consistency and power, the Cubs can't head into 2024 betting heavily on him again. They desperately need power in this lineup and Bellinger offers not only that, but plus baserunning and glovework - making him a multi-faceted threat who could anchor any team's lineup for years to come.