The Chicago Cubs have a shortage of power hitters on the roster for 2013. In 2012, the Cubs only had four players reach double digits in home runs: Alfonso Soriano led the Cubs with 32 home runs, Bryan LaHair had 16 home runs, Anthony Rizzo had 15 and Starlin Castro had 14. The Cubs only had 137 home runs as a team, tying them for 27th place in baseball with the Miami Marlins. With LaHair designated for assignment, the Cubs will have to rely heavily on the other three power hitters.
As all Cubs fans know, Soriano has always been fun to watch at the plate. Issues with him mainly consist of his horrific adventures in the outfield. If Soriano stays healthy, he has a chance to hit between 25 and 30 home runs in 2013.
Rizzo is an up and coming star with the Cubs. As he becomes more familiar with Major League pitching, he will continue to increase his home run totals. I think he can double his previous home run total. Look for him to end the 2013 campaign with 29 home runs.
Castro is the biggest hope for a consistent home run hitter. While Cubs manager Dale Sveum would rather have Castro look to drive the ball to the opposite field, Castro seems to be focused on pulling home runs into the left field bleachers. I think Castro will be the Cubs’ most improved power hitter in 2013. If he can add a few more stolen bases, he should finish the 2013 season with his first year in the 30-30 club.
While home runs will only consistently come from a few players in 2013, once the temperatures rise and the wind starts blowing out, look for most of the Cubs’ home runs to come in late July and throughout August.
I predict the Cubs will only hit 135 home runs in 2013.