The Rise of David Bote
Coming into the spring, very little was known about David Bote. Sure, he’s listed as the #15 prospect on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Cubs prospects. But to be fair, usually the guys towards the bottom of the Top 30 are lesser known players or just starting out their big league career. Then Spring Training came along and Bote turned some heads. Slashing .269/.339/.442, Bote looked ready to graduate to Wrigley Field. Despite only one home run, Bote was definitely one of the standouts of the spring.
His opportunity came quickly, as he made his Major-League debut on April 21st, just a few weeks into the season. Bote is back on the big league club while Bryant nurses a sore shoulder. In 15 games, Bote is slashing .250/.350/.406 without one home run and eight RBIs. His first big league home run came on Wednesday against the Tigers. While he hasn’t displayed his power yet, it’s his athleticism and versatility that make him appealing. On the Cubs, Bote has played primarily third base, but can also play second base and even the outfield. However, the biggest problem he faces is that he is blocked.
Originally drafted in the 18th round of 2012 draft, Bote started to make his presence known in 2016 with Class A. Bote has average speed but runs well. His defense is a bit below average but he has a solid bat with some pop. Bote seems like the perfect utility man expect the Cubs already have quiet a few in Ben Zobrist and Tommy LaStella. His ability to play multiple positions will likely make him one of the first to be called up when the Cubs need a position player.
Bote has done a nice job in his short time with the Cubs, but doesn’t really have a roster spot right now. There is no doubt he will be back in September for sure. Barring an injuries, he likely won’t have a full time spot on the big league roster until 2020, as Ben Zobrist will be a free agent that year, and Tommy LaStella will be one year away from free agency.
Of course, a trade of current big-league talent could open the door for Bote or he could be used as potential trade bait as well. Only time will tell, but for now, Bote is another player in the Cubs deep minor league system to get excited about.