Cubs Prospect Notes: Hopes for Davis, PCA Prediction, Slaughter, Strumpf, Hernández, Jensen, More

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Cubs Prospect Notes: Hopes for Davis, PCA Prediction, Slaughter, Strumpf, Hernández, Jensen, More

Chicago Cubs

The New Year has arrived! Here’s hoping, among many other things, it marks another big jump for the Chicago Cubs farm system, and the impact it SHOULD have on the big league team …

  • We don’t know a whole lot about what’s going on right now with outfielder Brennen Davis, who missed most of 2022 following a best-case-scenario, non-structural back surgery, and then who missed most of the AFL season with a(n unrelated?) stress reaction in his back. I do know that it looks like from his Instagram that he’s played some golf lately, so that FEELS like a good sign?
  • Sahadev Sharma says today that Davis is doing well and working out, with the hope of having a normal Spring Training on the table. If so, that would allow him to be good to go at the start of the Triple-A season. From there, the possible paths this year are wide and ranging, depending on his health and performance. You can’t rule out the big leagues, but after last season, you’d really just be happy with a healthy year, even if spent mostly at Triple-A.
  • MLB Pipeline wrote up a particularly anticipated 2023 prospect debut for each organization, and Davis was the name for the Cubs:

If not for repeated back issues that limited him to 53 Triple-A games and necessitated June 2 surgery to correct a nest of blood vessels pushing against a nerve, Davis already would have debuted with the Cubs. The 2018 second-rounder from an Arizona high school and 2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game MVP could have at least solid tools across the board and is capable of playing all three outfield spots.

  • Sounds good to me, but as discussed above, I’d be perfectly happy if Davis just spends most of the year healthy and raking at Iowa. (Of course, if he does that, an opportunity at the big league level probably pops up at some point.) The other guys listed in the NL Central are just a who’s who of tip-top prospects, though, including Jordan Walker, Endy Rodriguez, and Elly De La Cruz.
  • Sharma predicts that Pete Crow-Armstrong will get a cup of big league coffee in September, by the way, which is awfully fun. As with Davis, it would probably take the right mix of things happening – both within his control and outside his control. If PCA hits well at Double-A in the first half, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where he forces the issue, given how he looked last year and the floor created by his glove and speed (it’d be a Michael Harris II situation, for example, though that’s about as extreme as it gets). What happens with Davis, Cody Bellinger, Ian Happ, and Seiya Suzuki (and, actually Matt Mervis, too, because of Bellinger’s versatility) could go some way to dictating what happens with PCA, but his ceiling is so high that I think the Cubs will figure it out for him if they are contending and he’s looking ready.
  • Interesting thought and note here from Brad, as Jake Slaughter may very well be among the “next guys up” in 2023 if a need emerges at third base or second base (or even just a general bench job, because he can also play the corner outfield spots and first base in a pinch):
  • The rub there is that the Cubs have so many guys who could cover those spots, many of whom are already on the 40-man roster … and a guy like Chase Strumpf who isn’t yet on it:
  • I am not a Swing Guy, so I can’t really tell you much about what this shows. And Cristian Hernández’s swing always looked really advanced and beautiful to me. But maybe there’s a little more time in the zone and a little more loft here? You tell me:
  • New 40-man member Ryan Jensen gets the profile treatment:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.