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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3. Utility/Bench/Catcher

Christopher Morel: A-

Morel has his holes in his game, but he is the team leader in home runs (15), Slugging (.572), OPS (.892), OPS+ (137), and wRC+ (145) among qualifiers. He has made efforts to work on some of the kinks in his game, both offensively and defensively, but his production deserves a high grade. Plus, how can you not love his energy?

Miles Mastrobuoni: F

Look, the guy does not have a lot of MLB time under his belt. Prior to this year he only had 16 career at-bats in the Majors. He is not a young prospect either, he is organizational depth who can play several positions, and has excellent numbers in Iowa this year (.305/.477/.451). So far he has looked like the prototypical "4A" player. Few can play in the Majors, but we have to be honest about those who do too.

Yan Gomes: A

He's been clutch behind the plate and at the plate. His teammates love working with him and value him as a leader. Justin Steele, one of the Cubs All-Star pitchers, has raved about him publicly. For a guy not necessarily known for offense the past few years, he is hitting .262/.303/.415 on the year and has had multiple clutch hits. He might not be an All-Star catcher this year but his value to the team has been so notable.

Tucker Barnhart: C-

He's been pretty solid defensively and has held the role of veteran catcher fine. Not quite the Gold Glover he once was in Cincinnati, but better than his stint in Detroit last year. His lack of offense is just part of the deal.

Miguel Amaya: B+

This was hard to grade because he has a limited career sample, but there is a lot to like about Amaya's first MLB season. He seems to have worked well with his veteran pitchers behind the plate and has produced with the bat. Amaya has hit .255/.382/.418 with a 125 wRC+ in 22 games. If he stays healthy and keeps growing, he looks like he can be the catcher of the future we had hoped for.

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