- AJ Mass, Rumor Central
Junior Lake started his Chicago Cubs career with a seven-game hitting streak during which he hit .484. Since July 30, he's hit safely in seven of eight starts, posting a .333 batting average over that time. As a result, Lake is certainly making a huge splash.
Even though he is attempting to become just the third Cubs rookie since 1933 to finish the season with a batting average of .300 or above in at least 100 at-bats (Bill Madlock hit .313 in 1974 and Starlin Castro hit .300 in 2010), in terms of a long-term role with the team, not everybody is jumping into this Lake excitement with both feet.
As Baseball America's Jim Callis writes, "The Cubs' outfield of the future is Albert Almora, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler, and Lake's other viable position (third base) will belong to Javier Baez. Brett Jackson and Mike Olt also are in line for playing time in the future."
"Lake never produced consistently in the minors (.271/.322/.411 in 619 games) because he gets himself out at the plate way too often. He has a "busy" swing with a lot of holes, and he chases far too many pitches (especially breaking balls) out of the strike zone. He has 23 strikeouts and just two walks in 88 big league at-bats, and he's not going to keep hitting .446 and slugging .677 when he puts the ball in play. I see Lake as more of a placeholder than as a long-term regular."
Junior Lake started his Chicago Cubs career with a seven-game hitting streak during which he hit .484. Since July 30, he's hit safely in seven of eight starts, posting a .