Giving Chicago Cubs position players first half grades

Grading the performances of the Chicago Cubs position players during the first half of the 2023 Major League Baseball season.
Baltimore Orioles v Chicago Cubs
Baltimore Orioles v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
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2. Outfielders

Ian Happ: C

Here are the things Happ has been good at this year, getting on base (.377) and defense (2 DRS, 1.4 UZR). The defense has not been Gold Glove-caliber like last year, but it's still been okay, while the OBP is legit really good. The problem is he is not slugging and producing runs like a 3-4 hitter should be. He is also hitting .226 with a .359 slugging since May 1st. Overall on the year he is hitting .247/.377/.386 with a .763 OPS and seven homers. The .247 average would not be as big of a deal if he was slugging over .400 and had double-digit homers. Hopefully, the second half brings a fresher bat and production goes back up.

Seiya Suzuki: C

Kind of a similar deal with Happ. The OBP is pretty good at .342 but the power and run production has not been to the level we had hoped. Similar to last year, he is VERY streaky. He was hitting very well around Memorial Day (.319/.417/.560 in May) but is hitting just .211/.282/.292 since. Some hard-hit balls...but on the ground not getting any lift. A season of .259/.342/.405 and 105 wRC+ in a vacuum is not bad, but the Cubs expect more. Hopefully, his last game at Yankee Stadium with a home run and a game-winning sac fly RBI is a sign of better things to come.

Cody Bellinger: A

The dude has been awesome. He is so smooth and trustworthy in centerfield and enters the All-Star break with a .298/.355/.491 slash and 126 wRC+. Belli ended the first half on a tear, hitting .471 with two doubles and two home runs over his past nine games. There have already been calls to extend him to be part of the future. Hopefully, he keeps it up because he has been a joy to watch in a Cubs uniform.

Mike Tauchman: B

Yeah, the numbers have really slipped lately, but Tauchman has come up with some big hits and was not a guy expected to be more than organizational depth. He very well could fade into oblivion by August, but he has provided more than we could have possibly expected. For that he deserves credit.