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2023 Cubs player profiles: Mike Tauchman

23rd in a series. Mike Tauchman is an older player with a low ceiling and a good half-year as a major leaguer. He has some skills but is just here for coffee.

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Michael Robert Tauchman is a 32-year-old lefthanded hitter with decent speed and a little power. He’s not quite adequate for a full-time job but he does well in the pinch, or that’s seemingly the wisdom regarding Tauchman, who has logged just about a full season’s worth of time in six years in and out of major-league ball.

His aggregate slash: .232/.327/.378. He was up for half of a season with the Yankees (2019) and acquitted himself well, hitting .277 with 13 home runs and 47 RBI, but he hasn’t seen that much time with another club. The only other extended visit was with the Giants, and he hit only four home runs in 152 at-bats there.

Tauchman does bring a good glove to his game, but those numbers won’t inspire major-league managers to put him in every day. As a late-inning sub, he can get at-bats and play a few innings here and there. His left-handedness allows him occasional pinch-hitting opportunities, and he’ll start once in a while.

I’d have to say that his classification is 4A. His lifetime slash in MiLB is .300/.376/.451, which is markedly better than his MLB mark. He has collected 2.4 lifetime WAR.

However, he is a native of northwest suburban Palatine and a lifetime Cub fan, so he merits additional consideration as a human for that, just like Downers Grove South alumnus Nick Burdi. That does not affect any roster considerations, though.

He’s on the 40-man roster now, so he’ll be on the injury bus, but he’s likely just in Chicago until Cody Bellinger (or Kyle Hendricks) returns from the IL. David Ross, however, doesn’t dislike Tauchman. Quite the contrary — he has lauded the outfielder’s ability to control the strike zone, work the count and pounce on the appropriate pitches.

“The poise, the calmness,” Ross said recently. “The balance within the swing, within the at-bat, really stands out every time he gets in the box. It’s a professional at-bat, and he’s done a really nice job this spring of being consistent with that.”

“It’s my goal to get back to the big leagues,” Tauchman said. “But my goals are a little bit bigger than just filling a roster spot. I think that I have something to offer as somebody that can contribute to a team over the course of the season.”

That seems less and less likely as time goes on. Numbers like his 2019 Yankees season would do, but he isn’t producing like that even in Iowa. A return to Korea is his best bet — he did well there.