The above chart shows OPS+ ratings for Cubs players in 2012.
As Alex Remington of Yahoo! Sports puts it:
“[OPS+] it’s a single number that attempts to measure a player’s contributions at bat. It doesn’t account for baserunning or defense and it doesn’t account for the discrepancy in value between on-base percentage and slugging, but it’s a pretty good indicator of how good a year a particular player has had.”
The aim of this graphic is to help illustrate, at least partly, why the Cubs are in need of a center fielder and third baseman this offseason.
Darwin Barney obviously made up for his below league average rating with a Gold Glove seasons defensively. And Bryan LaHair, despite his steep decline at the plate throughout the season, surprisingly finished the year above league average.
We should expect Starlin Castro’s rating to go up as he becomes more comfortable with his plate approach. Welington Castillo, however, remains more of a mystery as to whether his OPS+ will move up or down next year. The same holds true for Dave Sappelt.
The hope with Soriano, assuming the Cubs can’t trade him this winter, would be for him to match his OPS+ in 2013. Meanwhile, Anthony Rizzo’s OPS+ will most likely increase even further.
It’s not a bad infield core, but finding a league average OPS+ player at third and center would go a long way towards helping the Cubs regain some respectability.