Who leads off?
With the departure of Dexter Fowler, who was acknowledged by Joe Maddon as an offensive spark in the 2015 season in the leadoff spot, and the addition of Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist, the batting order and the chemistry are unknowns. In 2015, Maddon said to Fowler, “You go, we go.” Here’s your question… In 2016, who will he say that to?
There is a lot of speculation on who might take the leadoff spot. Most like Hewyard for it, but the 2016 Chicago Cubs have a very unique problem (to use the word ‘problem’ very loosely). With the exception of some of their pitchers, and occasionally David Ross, there are no holes in their batting order. Hits are a given… but what is the best way to arrange them? Can Joe Maddon find the perfect combination of power and on-base magic to produce the runs? There is no lack of power, with a 25 man roster heavy with home run capable hitters and solid base runners, but there is very little precedence for a lineup with this much potential, and if the perfect arrangement of pieces can be found, that potential could break all kinds of records.
The perfect lineup will feature those with the most potential to get on base followed by power. With Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Kyle Schwarber projected for big home run numbers, situating them properly in an order that also includes Heyward, Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell and Jorge Soler, power hitters in their own right, is going to be an interesting (and very likely pleasurable) experience.