Early on in the 2014 season it looked like, Chicago Cubs’ third baseman, Luis Valbuena had finally shaken his label of being a “4-A” player (a player who succeeds at AAA but not in the major leagues). Valbuena was hitting in the .280’s through the month of May and was even getting some press about being a dark horse all-star candidate, but then July happened. The bottom fell out once the summer temperatures reached Wrigley and Luis Valbuena went into month long slump. However, Valbuena has rebounded here in late August. His batting average still leaves something to be desired, but his power numbers have been fantastic, particularly in the recent absences of Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo.
(stats per ESPN.com)
This month, Luis Valbuena is tied for second on the team in home runs (behind Javier Baez, 7) and looks poised for a strong finish. Valbuena is hitting .333 with 3 home runs in his last ten games, including last night when he went back-to-back with Jorge Soler.
The Cubs had hoped for a breakout year from Valbuena, and although his 13 home runs are a career high and his .241 batting average is his highest since 2009 (.250 in 103 games for the Cleveland Indians), he has fallen a bit short. Once Kris Bryant arrives next season, it is expected that Valbuena will move to the bench and could be a valuable piece given his ability to play multiple positions and hit left-handed but something to keep in mind: since 2011, Valbuena is hitting just .175 (7-40) as a pinch hitter.
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