Dave Sappelt has enjoyed success this offseason in the Venezuelan Winter League.
The Cubs outfielder is currently playing for Bravos de Margarita (which sounds like a delicious drink, by the way) and is leading the team in average to date with a .336 mark. The Bravos boast several guys who have spent time in the MLB, including former first round pick Sean Burroughs, Twins infielder Brian Dozier, Rockies infielder Jonathan Herrera and good, ole Hank White (Henry Blanco), the former Cubs backup catcher.
Sappelt got the start in center and hit leadoff in the Bravos' last game Thursday, clubbing his fifth home run in the victory. He boasts a .378 OBP and .526 slugging percentage -- good for a .904 OPS -- with five doubles, 15 RBI, 23 runs and five steals in 30 games and 116 at-bats. The downside is the three errors in the outfield.
The diminutive outfielder -- he's listed as 5-foot-9, 195 pounds -- came over to the Cubs in the Sean Marshall deal last winter. He appeared in 26 games late in 2012, batting .275.351.449 with two homers and six doubles.
Sappelt, who turns 26 on Jan. 2, can play all three outfield positions and could open the season on the 25-man roster. With Nate Schierholtz signed to play right field, Sappelt could be in line for a platoon, getting the occasional start against a left-hander in place of Schierholtz or David DeJesus in center. Of course, there is still almost two months left in the offseason and the Cubs may still make a move to further bolster the outfield rotation.