Last night, amid a flurry of concerns over the Cubs’ left fielder, the Cubs’ right fielder ripped his third homer of the year, and 100th of his career.
That right fielder, of course, is Jason Heyward, who has been struggling badly this season, particularly in the power department. Which made it nice to see him yank this ball out:
On the year, Heyward is still hitting just .223/.318/.314, with an ISO (.090) lower than it’s been at any point in his career. His BABIP (.277) is also way below his career norms, but there’s been so much weak contact mixed in that it’s hard to say it’s been a run of bad luck. Further, Heyward’s strikeout rate (20.5%) is the highest it’s been since 2012. There are some real issues here.
However, since the start of that last Phillies series, Heyward’s knocked four extra-base hits, which has done wonders for his line. Over those 39 plate appearances, despite a still-low batting average, he’s hitting .250/.308/.472, which is good for a 109 wRC+.
It’s a tiny sample, and not something you’d want to draw many conclusions from. Instead, I highlight it only to note how much a little power increase can do for a player’s production. There’s been a slight uptick there from Heyward in the last few weeks, and it’s possible he’s working some things out. Fingers crossed, because, while you love the defense and baserunning, the Cubs are going to need his bat at some point. Of that, I have no doubt.