Cubs Quick Hits: What is Matt Szczur’s Value?

It might surprise you to know that Matt Szczur accumulated 200 plate appearances in 2016 on a crowded World Series champion roster. Not only did he record the highest number of PA’s in his young career, he made the most out of it by producing 0.7 WAR.

The utility outfielder has been the subject of trade rumors, some of which suggest the Cubs’ asking price might be too high. And though I would be surprised to see great value coming back in any deal for Szczur, maybe we should increase our expectations if a something is worked out.

Szczur generated league-average contact rate (78%) and close to league-average isolated power (.141), all while producing a robust 24.3 UZR/150 (a defensive measure scaled to 150 innings). You can imagine how that might look over the course of a full season with everyday reps.

Granted, extrapolating future offensive and defensive value from a mere 200 plate appearances sample is probably not the best tack. Nevertheless, Szczur has shown flashes of being a productive MLB-caliber outfielder, and the Cubs are shopping him as such.

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