A surprising Chicago Cubs player is ranked among MLB's best right fielders

Mike Tauchman appears on a top 10 right fielders list
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

Chicago Cubs outfielder Mike Tauchman was surprisingly listed as the seventh-best right fielder in MLB in a recent Bleacher Report top-ten list.

Among the multitude of injuries to key Cubs players this year have been starting outfielders Cody Bellinger and Seiya Suzuki. Tauchman was propelled into a larger role and has been a solid fill-in while those two have missed time, with solid defense in right field and arguably the best plate discipline in Major League Baseball. The latter is likely how Tauchman found his way so high on this list, as he is currently leading all of baseball in pitches seen per plate appearance (4.61) at the time of this writing.

The Summer of Tauchman could be renewed in 2024.

While Tauchman has maintained his ability to turn in lengthy at-bats, his offensive production has cooled off significantly in May. This is one reason why it is a bit jarring to see him on this list. After putting up a fantastic .307/.435/.520 slash line in March and April, Tauchman has struggled with a 66 wRC+ and just six hits over the first nine games in May. At 33 years old, Tauchman can't be expected to keep up his early season numbers, at least when it comes to slugging and batting average.

But there is a reason Cubs manager Craig Counsell named Tauchman to the major league roster very early in Spring Training before speculation could begin. He is a solid fourth outfielder who grinds out at-bats and wears down opposing pitchers. This is a great hitter to have in your lineup even to simply drive up the opposing starter's pitch count.

With Bellinger and Suzuki both officially back from their injuries, Tauchman's playing time will surely shrink as those two continue to get back into their routines of starting in the outfield every day. But with Tauchman's persistent at-bats and knack for coming up in clutch moments, he will continue to see a healthy amount of playing time.