Sunday is the day your World Series Champions, Chicago Cubs, take the field again. These lovable losers aren’t really losers anymore as they plan to defend their title in the 2017 season. Each man on the roster contributed to the success of the Cubs history making season last year. Even Brian Matusz. As the Cubs embark into the new season Sunday, we can take a look at how the 2017 Cubs will differ from the 2016 Cubs.
The 2016 Cubs racked in 199 total homeruns throughout the entire REGULAR season, not including the 20 homers hit in the postseason. With that, only 3 Cubs hit 20 or more homeruns last season.
Kris Bryant: 39 Anthony Rizzo: 32 Addison Russell: 21
Closely behind 20 was World Series MVP, Ben Zobrist, with 18. Also, keep in mind of Schwarber, only getting 4 total at bats until his, what we thought, full season ending injury. Besides the point, Willson Contreras and Javier Baez will both have more chances this season to show their true power. Which brings me to why I think they’ll peak over 20 this season.
2017 Homerun Predictions
With 199 last year, I do expect the Cubs to hit over 200 homeruns this season and have at least 6 players hitting over 20. That may be because I am either very confident in my team, or these kids are completely insane when it comes to power. Here are the 6 players on my list:
- Kris Bryant
Of course K Breezy is going to be on this list, and you are insane if you think I am wrong. With 39 homers last season, Baby Blue Eyed is back with more experience and is still on the top of his peak. A Rookie Of The Year, World Series Trophy, and the NL MVP all under his belt in less than 2 full seasons? I shouldn’t have to explain more.
2. Anthony Rizzo
Rizzo tied his 2014 career high of 32 homeruns in the 2016 season. Even when missing a handful of games last season before the All-Star Break, Rizzo was well over 20. Not expecting him to miss more games than last season, I think Rizzo will break his career high of 32 homeruns. With 71 combined last season and now they are thinking about selling foul balls? The Bryzzo Co. will 100% reach their goal this year.
3. Kyle Schwarber
Read the name. This is the guy who basically won us the World Series on one leg, right? Correct. With only 4 regular season at bats last year, Schwarber did not go yard on any of them. Pulling stats from his 2015 season, Kyle hit 16 homeruns in only 232 at bats. Not including the 5 from the postseason in 2015. A full year for Schwarbo is coming and I think Big Cat will be yelling “YABO” more than 20 times this season. Even Schwarber himself has to say it once.
4. Addison Russell
Addison Muscle went deep 21 times last season and to think the kid hasn’t even been in the league for 2 full seasons. I’ll keep it short and sweet. Addi is gaining confidence like the Cubs gained games on the Cardinals last season. Put him in the 5th spot with runners on and I dare you to throw it up and out on him. He may sneak in there behind guys like Kris, Kyle, and Anthony, but I can guarantee he will make the 20 mark.
5. Javier Baez
Javy is the league’s most ELECTRIC player IMO. Love him or not, Javy was known for his defensive plays last season and snuck in 14 homers as well. With Joe being so in and out with some players it was challenging putting Javy on the list. But, the way he played last season there is no way Joe leaves him out of the lineup more than he did last season. Which should give Baez at least 75-100 more at bats. I’ll leave it up to Joe to decide this one.
6. Willson Contreras
Let me just say that I love this kid and think he will be outstanding this season. Willy hit 12 homers in 252 at bats last season while arriving just before the All-Star Break. Contreras hit a homer on the first pitch he ever saw in the big leagues which was against the Pirates, at night, in Wrigley, on ESPN. The big stage. Which probably was my favorite regular season moment. Besides that, Willy has the power to hit well over 25 homers this season. Again, it just depends on how much he plays. He certainly has power and this is why he is my biggest sleeper this season.