FanPost

Fanposts Revisited: Trying to replace Dexter Fowler is an exercise in futility.

Over the course of the offseason, I'm going to look at the fanposts I made during the season and reflect on them, finding out if my opinions were off base or not, and giving myself a grade from STRIKEOUT to GRAND SLAM. Third in the series: Trying to replace Dexter Fowler is an exercise in futility. This was posted on June 1st.

Recap

My major points were as follows:

  • Dex had a career year and you shouldn't expect him to have another one.
  • He hasn't even come close to his 2016 numbers in four years.
  • Nobody in MLB is going to match the numbers he put up last year, because...
  • Guys that get on base at a .390 clip don't hit leadoff. (even though they should, but hey, I'm not in charge of the lineup card. more on this next week!)
  • He isn't even in the leadoff spot any more!

Review

2016 Dex: .276/.393/.447, 13 SB, 4 CS, 22.5 K%, 14.3 BB%, 13 HR in 551 PA

2017 Dex: .264/.363/.488, 7 SB, 3 CS, 20.6 K%, 12.8 BB%, 18 HR in 491 PA

Dex got dropped out of the leadoff spot in June and started hitting second, then third, fourth, and third again. After June 6th, he only hit leadoff three times. He started 51 games at leadoff, 13 second, 22 third, 18 fourth, and 3 fifth. He dropped 30 points off his OBP and added 40 points to his SLG, but that's not really why he stopped being used at leadoff. On June 6th, he was at .226/.320/.432 on the season.

After being moved, he hit .299/.399/.541, the improvement showing almost instantly as he had a 1.099 OPS for the remainder of June. He came back too soon from injury and had an underwhelming July in the third spot, then when he returned again in August in the fourth spot, he OPSed .993 for the rest of the season. A fair comp for Dex this year is Andrew McCutchen, who had a .279/.363/.486 slash line.

Verdict

This new, higher power Dex looks like he would've been okay in the leadoff spot, though you all would've complained that he isn't stealing bases. He was a slow starter like everyone on the Cubs, though, so he wouldn't have made that era feel much better either. Anyway, when you look at guys that had a .390+ OBP, most of them are not hitting leadoff. Since I'm biased against Dex because I love Almora and want him to succeed, I'm awarding myself a GROUND RULE DOUBLE. Tune in next week for a BIG CHART.

Previously on Fanposts Revisited: Javier Baez is not a leadoff hitter, The Cubs do not have a clutch hitting problem, Javier Baez has not been good at swinging a bat this year, Kris Bryant just keeps getting better.

Up next: Does the prototypical leadoff hitter still exist? (This one is the main reason I've been doing this series. It was my most commented fanpost of the year and I'm extremely interested in the results.)

FanPosts are written by readers of Bleed Cubbie Blue, and as such do not reflect the views of SB Nation or Vox Media, nor is the content endorsed by SB Nation, Vox Media or Al Yellon, managing editor of Bleed Cubbie Blue or reviewed prior to posting.