Ben Zobrist’s Early Exit Velocity Encouraging
Ben Zobrist was hitting deep fly ball after deep fly ball during the opening set against the Miami Marlins. Take away Lewis Brinson plus the warehouse-esque outfield of that circus ballpark and Zo would’ve had at least three more extra-base knocks. His opening week performance reminded me of the good ol’ days when his wrist was healthy and he was knocking in the go-ahead run to win the World Series.
While it’s admittedly very early, Zobrist was launching fly balls with an average exit velocity over 96 mph. In comparison, his exit velo in last year’s injury-riddled season was a mere 89 mph.
Zobrist has been something of a forgotten man of late, lost in the shuffle of the need to give Ian Happ, Albert Almora Jr., and Javy Baez enough playing time to fully develop. But it’d be wrong to forget about Zo. After all, Steamer projections still think the almost 37-year-old can mash to a .333 wOBA this year.
Sure, the sample size is extremely small and we can’t take away too much from just four games. But I’m a bit excited to see Zobrist looking healthy this season and driving the ball deep to center field, especially from the right side of the dish. Combine a healthy Zobrist with continued development of other Cubs hitters and look out, MLB.