In 2022, Cubs first base prospect Matt Mervis went from High-A, to Double-A, to Triple-A all in one season, smashing 36 home runs in the process (t-3rd most in the entire Minor Leagues). He also added another six home runs in just 17 AFL games after the season, tied for the most in the league. In other words, he brings the thunder.
In 2022, Cubs center field prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong flew up the prospect rankings boards, demolishing A-Ball (174 wRC+) and High-A (125 wRC+) pitching, while playing gold glove defense in center field. He also stole 32 bases, which was second most in the Cubs entire minor league system. In other words, he’s the lightning.
So naturally, together, these two are LIGHTNING AND THUNDER. And you can watch the two of them literally build their own design at the Obvious Shirts Headquarters. It’s a lot of fun.
Speaking of these two, Mervis and PCA were recently at the Obvious Shirts store to do a signing, and I expect we’ll be seeing a whole lot of them at Wrigley Field this season.
Mervis should be up sometime early in the year (if he doesn’t otherwise break camp with the team). And he’s already getting some early consideration in the Rookie of the Year conversation. He’ll also be playing in the World Baseball Classic for Team Israel (that’s a lot of baseball in the past calendar year!).
Meanwhile, PCA will begin the season at Double-A Tennessee, as the top prospect in the Cubs system. I’m not sure how highly he’ll rank league-wide, but he’s already been comfortably in the top-30, so some top-20 consideration isn’t out of the question. Beyond that, I don’t think he’s necessarily expected to reach Chicago by the end of the 2023 season, especially with so much outfield depth ahead of him. But with injuries to Brennen Davis and Alexander Canario (plus PCA’s elite center field glove), it’s certainly possible.
The Cubs would be wise not to rush PCA. But if he keeps on hitting, he could wind up forcing their hand.