Watch Edwin Rios blast his 4th homer of Chicago Cubs Spring Training
On Wednesday, Chicago Cubs third baseman, Edwin Rios, launched his Cubs-leading fourth home run of Spring Training with a blast to right field. Most notably, the homerun came again off of a left-handed pitcher, which is an encouraging sign for the front office, and they can depend on Rios for some added pop against southpaws. Take a look at the moonshot below as it left Sloan Park in a hurry:
Rios is slashing .206/.308/.618 with four home runs and seven RBIs in 34 at-bats this spring. It wouldn't necessarily hurt him to go for more of a contact approach, as his 35% strikeout rate is on par with his career total, which as a slugger, has always kept his batting average to a minimum. On the other hand, we see sluggers hit in the low .200s all the time, such as former Cub Kyle Schwarber, who still blasts 35-40 home runs a season because they have ample playing time to do so.
The Cubs do need a bonified 30-home-run-hitter in their everyday lineup. Rios continues to showcase his power at the plate when given the opportunity. Four of his seven hits this spring have been via the longball, with one triple accompanying them. The fact is, Rios wasn't brought in to hit singles. He's here to hit rockets to outer space, like in the video above.
Rios looks increasingly like a lock for the Opening Day roster, as his newfound ability to lefties for power significantly adds to his value. A few cuts still need to be made to the main roster, but if Rios can keep up anywhere close to a homerun pace of 11% of his at-bats, you're looking at the next great Cubs slugger. If Rios can cut back on the strikeouts, he will be one of those difference-type makers that can propel the Cubs to new heights in 2023.