Giving Key Chicago Cubs position players their final 2023 letter grades

All key Chicago Cubs position players are given a letter grade for their performance in 2023.

Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Ian Happ: B

There were plenty of ups and downs for Happ at the plate including some frustration with him hitting in the three-hole. In the end, though the numbers were pretty solid, slashing .248/.360/.431 with 21 homers, .791 OPS, and 117 wRC+. It's worth noting that in the final two months of the season, Happ hit 11 home runs with an .830 OPS. He recorded a higher OBP, and OPS and hit four more homers than he did in 2022. Though, the defense was a little shaky compared to his Gold Glove season, going from 13 DRS in 2022 to 1 in 2023 out in left. Could we have wished for some better situational hitting from him? Sure. However, it was an overall fine season from Happ.

Seiya Suzuki: B+

Do not let the misplay in Atlanta overshadow the good we saw from Suzuki. After starting the year injured and slumping badly, the "benching" he got seemed to work wonders in helping him reset. He went on an absolute tear in the second half and saw him reach the 20-homer mark for the first time in his MLB career. He finished with a .285/.357/.485 slash with 20 homers and a 126 wRC+ in 138 games. There was nothing flukey about his offensive production either, as he was in the 82nd percentile in average exit velocity and in the 89th percentile in xBA (expected batting average). This was a big step forward for Suzuki and hopefully, he keeps growing as an MLB player.

Cody Bellinger: A+

Bellinger was the team MVP no question. The Cubs took a chance bringing in the former Dodger on a "prove it" deal. Once an All-Star and NL MVP, Bellinger had fallen on hard times before resurrecting his career with the Cubs in 2023. In 130 games he hit .307/.356/.525 with 26 homers, 97 RBI, and 134 wRC+. Compare his .881 OPS in 2023 to his collective .648 OPS from 2020-2022. Bellinger showed a great ability to either poke the ball the opposite way to find grass or pull out the driver when necessary. One can only wonder where the Cubs would be had he not missed a chunk of time due to a knee injury. Now we see if the Cubs keep him, or if another team offers Bellinger and manager Scott Boras more money.

Mike Tauchman: B

Give Tauchman a lot of credit, he kind of came from nowhere and was for a chunk of the mid-season a very productive player. He had some very professional at-bats as he was able to get into deep counts and get on base at a .363 clip in 108 games. While the power numbers do not look impressive, he was able to pop some home runs in big spots. It was unfortunate that he hit a really hard slump late in the season, hitting just .167 over a 30-game stretch from August 12th through September 16th. Overall it was a really nice season for a career journeyman. We will forever remember the game-saving catch he made in St. Louis.

Pete Crow-Armstrong: Incomplete

The Cubs' number one prospect got his first taste of MLB play in September. He appeared in 13 games, drawing three walks and stealing two bases without a hit in 14 at-bats. Tiny sample, but it is clear he is going to need more development work.

Alexander Canario: Incomplete

He was up for essentially two months, but only got into six games. He recorded five hits, including a grand slam, and six RBI. It's a shame he did not get more of a chance to contribute when he was up.

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