Chicago Cubs infielder David Bote did an excellent job filling in for Kris Bryant last season when Bryant spent time on the disabled list. While the Cubs may currently be in need of a starting infielder, Bote could end up being the solution to that. He could end up being a big piece of the 2019 Cubs. Here's why:
3. Defensive Versatility
Cubs manager Joe Maddon loves players with versatility. We've seen him put Kris Bryant at third base and in the outfield and put Ben Zobrist almost everywhere. He began doing the same thing with Bote last season. While he is primarily a third baseman, Bote spent some time at every position in the infield as well as appearing in left field.
2. He Often Makes Solid Contact
While Bote did have 60 strikeouts in 184 at-bats, he often managed to make solid contact when he did put the ball in play. Among players with at least 120 balls put in play, Bote had the second-highest percentage of balls in play being hit at least 95 miles per hour at 52.8 percent. Only Aaron Judge had a better rate, at 54.1 percent.
1. He Can Hit in the Clutch
Bote came up with some big hits for the Cubs after being called up. His penchant for hitting in the clutch was best exemplified by his walk-off grand slam against the Washington Nationals with his team trailing 3-0 and down to their last strike. Bote had a slash line of .367/.472/.667 with two outs and runners in scoring position.
In a time where two-out RBI hits are harder to get, David Bote presents a good change of pace in that department. If he were in the Cubs starting lineup on a routine basis next season, he'd help add more dimensions to an already impressive lineup. He could make for a good replacement for Addison Russell, and just might end up running away with a job as an everyday infielder.