Picture Cred: Jamie Squire/Getty Images
The 2016 World Series MVP almost was never a Cub. Not only was he not almost a Cub, he was close to not being a Major League Baseball player at all. Dreams of chasing playing baseball at for a college team were something that almost didn’t happen. Yet, because of $50 and a chance, the Cubs were able to break the 108 year drought of winning a World Series.
With all star talent all across the diamond for the Cubs, Ben Zobrist has been the consistent Cub in recent memory. Yet, he will never be considered for a MVP or even the HOF. Yet, the impact Zobrist has had for the Cubs has been invaluable.
Not only does Zobrist play nearly every position on the field, The three time all-star has a career Wins Above Replacement (WAR) score of 44.2, higher than players like Andrew McCutchen , Yadier Molina, Ryan Zimmerman. All of these players have been serious candidates or winners of the Most Valuable Player award.
In 2009, Zorilla jot .297/.405/.543 with 27 HR’s, and was the most valuable player in terms of WAR with an 8.6. Yet, yet…… Zorbist finished 8th in the ballot for this year. Grant it, Joe Mauer did hit .365 for the year, but other than that, similar numbers for Zobrist.
You may have heard people talk about Zobrist as an MVP Candidate in 2011, but the idea of him winning was not taken seriously. In a piece detailing why Zobrist should have been an MVP candidate , Jonah Keri, CBS Sports Writer and author of The Extra 2% detailing the turnaround of the Tampa Bay Rays, described Zobrist candidacy as “a deep sleeper, no-way-in-hell-anyone-will-ever-vote-for-him MVP candidate.” While Zobrist may not have a regular season MVP award, Zobrist won 2 World Series and a World Series MVP, something McCuthen, Zimmerman, and Mauer do no have.
So, what is the 37 year old doing this year for the Cubbies? He’s tied for second with Willson Contreras for second in WAR for the team, Javy Baez is obviously leading the Cubs in WAR with a 3.6. He’s second on the team with a .304 batting average, and fourth on the team with On Base plus Slugging (OPS) with .830. All while playing multiple positions, and helping lead the Cubs into the heated playoff push.
While Zobrist may not be considered one of the best players in the league, Zobrist is by far a leader for the Cubs and a necessity for the Cubs to continue success this year and beyond. Zobrist consistency is what all Cubs fans should marvel at and enjoy his presence in Cubbie blue.
A $50 investment made by Zobrist turned into $74,320,500 with another $12,000,000 owed to him. Pretty incredible, right? Besides the pure joy of seeing a Cubs’ World Series, I hope this has helped you appreciate Zorilla a little more. Also, find your $50 risk that Zobrist took, and see how far it can take you as well.