As is often the case with Spring Training, news and rumors trickle out of team camps at the dawn of the upcoming baseball season. A fascinating revelation out of Arizona on Wednesday indicated that new Cubs manager David Ross intended to commit to 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant as the club’s leadoff hitter, at least to start the season.
To place a lineup’s most feared slugger in the first spot in the order certainly, at the very least, goes against the grain of an old-fashioned baseball mindset.
Historically, a hypothetically ideal Major League lineup would look something like this:
- Speed-man, capable of bunting, contact hitter – usually at the expense of on-base-percentage and slugging. Oftentimes a centerfielder with a skillset similar to that of the Cubs’ Albert Almora Jr. More on that later.
- One of the lineup’s best hitters – but usually not the best. Capable of getting on base with the idea of getting driven in by the following hitters. Derek Jeter would be a perfect example.
- A lineup’s premier bat would most likely be found in the three-hole. Power, “RBI ability”, etc. Think Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, and Miguel Cabrera, who have…