Limited Bill Bates Jersey Much ado was — and is — made about Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and the Cubbies capturing their first World Series championship in 108 seasons. Everyone is so focused on their young, talented core, that some forgot their everyday center fielder landed with a division rival.
Even so, how does a guy who signed a monster contract qualify as under the radar? Fowler was the heart and soul of the Cubs in 2016. You go, we go and all that.
Fowler gambled on himself before the 2016 season, signing a one-year deal to stay with the Cubs. He subsequently helped the team capture a World Series title, parlaying a solid 2016 season into a five-year, $82.5 million pact with the Cardinals.
Fowler helps round out a diverse St. Louis lineup that features both youth and experience. It’s still difficult to see how the Cardinals can compete with the Cubs in the National League Central, but Fowler definitely helps solidify a lineup that already had solid numbers coming from the lead-off position in the lineup in 2016.
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More opportunity for players: Adding 15 DH positions in the majors would allow more players to have full-time big-league jobs and, in theory, longer and more successful careers. One-tool offensive players would no longer have to pin hopes solely on the American League, with half the teams in the sport not interested because of limited defensive abilities.
Likewise, National League teams would have more comfort and flexibility in drafting and/or trading. Just as some pitchers are groomed as closers from the start — Craig Kimbrel, for example — players could be groomed as hitting specialists from Day One. If we can have specialized pitchers across the sport, we can have specialized hitters. Which means …