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BCB After Dark: Who’s most valuable?

The late-night/early-morning spot for Cubs fans asks who will lead the Cubs in WAR for 2023

Minnesota Twins v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the boppin’ shindig for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Pull up a chair and join us. Come on in out of the cold. The dress code is casual. Let us know if we can do anything for you this evening. Bring your own beverage.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

Last night, I asked you to grade the Cubs’ off-season. The vote was pretty decisive as 73 percent of you gave the Cubs’ front office a “B.” Another 13 percent gave an “A” and 12 percent gave a “C.” So there’s a clear consensus there that the Cubs did above-average but not great this winter.

Here’s the part where I talk about jazz and movies. You’re free to skip ahead to the baseball question at the end. You won’t hurt my feelings.

Bassist Marcus Miller playing “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” was certainly a hit with you all last night. I can’t say I blame you. So I’ll go double or nothing tonight with Miller playing another Motown hit, the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.” He plays that one solo on his bass, but then he’s joined by Nigerian guitarist Keziah Jones and a whole octet where they play The Beatles’ “Come Together.”

Just a reminder that you have until Wednesday evening to vote in the BCB Winter Noir Classic second-round matchup between The Third Man (1949) and The Night of the Hunter (1955).

The final matchup of the second round, which starts tomorrow, is between Sunset Boulevard (1950), directed by Billy Wilder, and The Killing (1956), directed by Stanley Kubrick. Both movies are available to watch for free if you’ve got a library card (public or university) on Kanopy. So that’s a nice touch for all of you.

Just remember: “I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.”

Welcome back to everyone who skips the music and movies.

Tonight I’m going to ask you about this piece from mlb dot com that ran last week, which listed which player on each team was projected to lead the team in WAR, according to Fangraphs’ Steamer projections.

The Cubs projected leader is Nico Hoerner with a not-so-impressive 3.5. That’s good, of course, but it’s unimpressive when that’s the best WAR on an entire team. In fact, only six teams had a team leader with a projected WAR less than Hoerner.

Of course, projections are just projections. And Seiya Suzuki and Dansby Swanson are both projected to finish just a hair behind Hoerner with a 3.3 WAR.

Tonight’s question is asking you to make your own projection—who will lead the Cubs in WAR at the end of 2023?

Here are the Steamer projections for the top ten Cubs players.

Nico Hoerner—3.5

Dansby Swanson—3.3.

Seiya Suzuki—3.3

Ian Happ—2.8

Marcus Stroman—2.3

Christopher Morel—2.2

Jameson Taillon—2.0

Justin Steele—1.9

Cody Bellinger—1.7

Drew Smyly—1.2

Yan Gomes—1.2

OK, that’s actually eleven players because Smyly and Gomes tied for tenth.

So who do you think will end up being the most valuable player on the Cubs (by WAR) in 2023? It’s basically just a way of asking you who you think will be the best Cubs player, both in scoring runs and preventing opposition runs.

And yes, Matt Mervis fans can vote “Someone else.” Mervis only comes in at 1.0 WAR by the projections, but they also only project him to play 71 games.


Who will lead the Cubs in WAR by season’s end?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Nico Hoerner
    (33 votes)
  • 31%
    Dansby Swanson
    (78 votes)
  • 28%
    Seiya Suzuki
    (70 votes)
  • 9%
    Ian Happ
    (24 votes)
  • 2%
    Marcus Stroman
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Christopher Morel
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Jameson Taillon
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    Justin Steele
    (6 votes)
  • 10%
    Cody Bellinger
    (27 votes)
  • 0%
    Drew Smyly
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Yan Gomes
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Someone else (leave in comments)
    (1 vote)
249 votes total Vote Now

Thank you so very much for stopping by. We can get your hat and coat for you now. It’s cold out there, so wrap up warm. Get home safely. Tip your waitstaff. The coat check girl reminds me to tell you to tip her too, if you checked anything. And join us again tomorrow night for another edition of BCB After Dark.