Blue Chip Stocks
Addison Russell: Addy had a huge week at the plate, going 10-for-25 with two home runs, eleven runs batted in, and a stolen base. One of his home runs was a grand slam that turned a three-run deficit into a one-run lead, helping to propel the Cubs to a win against the Twins on Friday. His season line sits at .286/.358/.407, good for 108 wRC+. Russell’s already been worth 2.0 fWAR through 74 games this season, easily surpassing the 1.4 fWAR he posted in 110 games in 2017.
Javier Baez: I’m running out of superlatives for this guy. Baez had five multi-hit games this week, including a 4-for-5 effort against the Dodgers that saw him hit two home runs, one of which was a grand slam. On the week, Javy went 14-for-29 with two homers, 11 runs batted in, and 10 runs. El Mago ranks second in all of baseball among second baseman with an fWAR of 2.9, and ranks fourth with a wRC+ of 132. This guy needs to be the starting second baseman for the National League in the All Star Game, and I think we would all love to see him make an appearance in the Home Run Derby.
Willson Contreras: As with seemingly every other member of the Cubs offense, Contreras finds his name on the Blue Chip Stock portion of the list. Willy went 10-for-24 with a triple, a home run, and seven runs batted in. His wRC+ for the season is up to 118, just three points short of the 121 he posted last year.
Chili Davis: After holding a hitters-only meeting after a five-game losing streak, the offense decided to break out in a big way, scoring 60 runs in their last six games, including back-to-back-to-back games in which the Cubs scored at least 10 runs. Davis has also worked his magic with a number of other players on the Cubs roster, including Jason Heyward, Javier Baez, and Albert Almora Jr.
Kyle Schwarber: Schwarber went 7-for-20 with a home run, five runs, and five walks on the week. He ranks as the fifth best left fielder in all of baseball with an fWAR of 2.4, and ranks as the third best defensive left fielder in all of baseball too. (!!!)
Jason Heyward: Heyward continues to show no signs of slowing down, going 10-for-29 with two doubles, a home run, and nine runs scored. Since returning from his concussion, Heyward is batting a cool .324/.362/.493, amounting to a 128 wRC+. He’s proving to be a spark in the second spot in the lineup to go along with his usually stellar defense.
Albert Almora Jr.: Almora went 9-for-22 with a home run and five runs batted in, raising his batting average to .331, good for fifth in all of baseball. #WriteInAlmora.
Brian Duensing: There isn’t any other way to put it, Duensing has been awful this year. He sports a 6.92 ERA, and he’s walking more batters than he’s striking out, that’s never a good combination for a reliever. Come August 1, I would be surprised to see Duensing still on this roster.
Buy: The Cubs are the best team in the National League. Even with the current struggles of Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood, the pitching staff still ranks second in the National League in terms of ERA. The Cubs rank first in the National League with 5.12 runs per game. Once Kris Bryant returns to his normal self and Yu Darvish turns into the pitcher we thought he would be, this team has the chance to be the best in baseball.
Sell: The Cubs don’t need to make a move at the deadline. While I don’t think they’ll make a move for someone like Manny Machado, the Cubs still need to address their needs in the bullpen. Look for them to make a move at the deadline for an impact reliever to help bridge the gap to Brandon Morrow and Carl Edwards Jr.
Do you want Javier Baez to participate in the Home Run Derby?
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