Cubs' Emilio Bonifacio Has 11 Hits Through 3 Games

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Cubs' Emilio Bonifacio Has 11 Hits Through 3 Games
Gene J. Puskar

Chicago Cubs utility man Emilio Bonifacio has started the season in historic fashion, becoming just the third major league player since 1900 to record 11 hits in his team's first three games of the season, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The light-hitting Dominican is better known for his speed and versatility than his work in the batter's box, but he's had some offensive success in the past and is clearly on the right track this season.

Bonifacio started the fireworks with four hits on Opening Day, then went 5-for-7 in Wednesday's 16-inning loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He brought his three-game total to 11 hits on Thursday afternoon, going 2-for-4 with a stolen base and a double.

The double was Bonifacio's second of the season, as nine of his 11 hits have been singles. Unfortunately for opposing pitchers, the speedster already has four stolen bases and has yet to be gunned down.

While the fast start is obviously encouraging for Cubs fans, the fact remains that Bonifacio has practically no power. As fast and versatile as he may be, the guy who slashed a miserable .243/.295/.331 last season won't be able to carry the offense beyond the first few games.

Not surprisingly, the previous players to record 11 hits through three games were a bit more notable than Bonifacio. Ira Flagstead, who accomplished the feat in 1926 for the Boston Red Sox, ultimately retired with a .290 batting average and .370 on-base percentage in 4,794 career plate appearances. Cecil Cooper, who had 11 hits through three games for the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers, was a five-time All-Star who retired with a .298 batting average and 241 career home runs.

Bonifacio is still just a light-hitting utility man, but his small place in early season baseball history counts just the same. Cubs fans probably won't appreciate that small piece of history, as the team is off to a 1-2 start, despite Bonifacio's heroics.

 

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