Ranking Cubs players after the trade deadline

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Every month throughout the 2018 season, we'll rank our top Cubs players based off trends and overall impact to the team's pursuit of another World Series.

As a refresher, here's what the power rankings looked like after June:

10. Addison Russell
9. Brandon Morrow
8. Mike Montgomery
7. Jason Heyward
6. Kris Bryant
5. Willson Contreras
4. Albert Almora Jr.
3. Anthony Rizzo
2. Jon Lester
1. Javy Baez

Russell, Montgomery and Heyward all found themselves off the power rankings as they each endured their own levels of struggle over July. Morrow is booted from the list with a second stint on the disabled list that limited him to just 7.1 innings over the month.

In their place include a newcomer and a couple of guys from the old guard making their presence known:

10. Cole Hamels 
9. Kris Bryant
8. Ben Zobrist
7. Albert Almora Jr.
6. Ian Happ
5. Jon Lester
4. Kyle Hendricks
3. Willson Contreras
2. Anthony Rizzo
1. Javy Baez

10. Hamels didn't make an appearance in a Cubs uniform in July, but he represents some badly needed depth on the pitching staff and carries with him excellent postseason experience.

9. Bryant only played 10 games in July with a .787 OPS while experiencing a setback with his bothersome left shoulder. But still, he's the Cubs' best player. Kind of hard to knock him off the list entirely.

8. Zobrist, the Cubs' oldest player had a pair of 4-hit games in July and continues to have some of the most consistently productive at-bats on the team.

7. Almora had a tough month at the plate, but we see the kind of value he provides with his glove on a daily basis in center field.

6. With Bryant injured, Happ has suddenly become one of the Cubs' most important players, spending a lot of time at third base. He also had a great month, leading the Cubs in walks and posting an on-base percentage near .400.

5. Lester got lit up in his first start of the second half, but beyond that, he's still been humming along in July, giving the Cubs an opportunity to win every single time he takes the mound. They've lost just once in a game Lester has started since May 23. 

4. Much has been made of Hendricks' struggles this season, but he was far and away the Cubs' best starting pitcher in June. He tossed the most innings (35) while posting a 3.34 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with a sparkling 33:5 K:BB ratio. Not saying he's back yet, but...he may be back.

3. Contreras has quietly been a consistent offensive threat for the Cubs, posting an OPS near .900 for July with a batting average over .300 and on-base percentage over .400. But there's still room for growth with his power.

2. Rizzo went nearly a month in between home runs, but that doesn't mean he's been slumping at the plate. Even with a low power month, Rizzo still had an OPS hovering around .900 for July while providing stability atop the Cubs order for the first time since Dexter Fowler left town. 

1. What more is there to say about Javy this season? In addition to starting the All-Star Game and participating in the Home Run Derby in July, Baez also led the Cubs in just about every offensive category in July and only Rizzo had more plate appearances.

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