Chicago Cubs’ center field prospect Matt Szczur played in the All-Star Futures Game yesterday at Chase Field, going 0-1 and making a couple plays in the outfield. He also flashed some serious speed, and generally acquitted himself acceptably while playing with the top prospects in baseball.
Szczur, 21, was recently promoted to the Cubs’ High A affiliate in Daytona, and has a bright future if his development continues apace. The future looks even brighter when you consider how little Szczur has focused on baseball until recently.
“I’m still learning the skill set in baseball,” Szczur said, “But I really think it’s coming for me. I played mostly football growing up, so I switched sports. The Cubs have been very supportive. They just want me to get experience and put the work in.”
Szczur could be a leadoff man in the big leagues, or hit further down in the order. The Cubs feel that he’ll be able to produce both speed and power as he progresses in his professional career.
“He’s an upper-tier runner in our organization already,” Fleita said. “And he has great hand-eye coordination. The way he’s playing, it appears he’ll only get better.”
Fleita believes that Szczur will be playing at Double-A Tennessee by next year and by age 22 could be projected on a fast track to Wrigley Field. ESPNChicago.com.
As he progresses through the system, it will be interesting to see whom the Cubs view as the center fielder of the future: Szczur or top prospect Brett Jackson. Neither is expected to develop the power typically associated with a corner outfielder, but if both can be .300/.400/.400 type guys (which they *could* be), the Cubs could have a hell of a productive and amazingly defensive outfield in the near future.