I still can’t believe a week ago the Chicago Cubs were playing Game 163 for the NL Central tittle and now we’re discussing offseason moves. But here we are.
The Cubs offense was atrocious down the stretch. We all know that. Notably absent late in the season were the offensive contributions (or lack thereof) from young players Albert Almora Jr., Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ.
Almora put up tremendous numbers with the bat, slashing .319/.357/.438 going into the All-Star Break. Schwarber was in the middle of a bounce back season, slashing .249/.375/.498. Happ finished the first half strong after an abysmal April, but slashed .256/.379/.453 before the Midsummer Classic.
For the second half (starting July 19), it’s not good. Happ hit .196 with an 80 wRC+, 20 points below league average. His 36.8 percent K-rate is alarming and his ground ball percentage (43.2 percent) was much higher than his fly ball percentage (31.8 percent). He saw strike three 67 times in 182 plate appearances. Schwarber batted .221, posted a 89 wRC+, had a 28 percent strikeout rate and only had an on-base percentage of .329. Almora slashed .232/.267/.280.
All three were unable to get out of their slumps and, in the end, were a big reason why the Cubs failed to hold onto the NL Central.