Chicago Cubs: After deadline moves, prospects are again the focus

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs Prospects:  Infielder Nick Madrigal

Though not a prospect any longer as he had played in the big leagues all season for the crosstown rival Chicago White Sox, Nick Madrigal will still be an integral part of the lineup moving forward. Pairing Madrigal with Nico Hoerner will give Chicago a solid duo up the middle. Also bitten by the injury bug after tearing his hamstring, he too will miss the remainder of the year and come back to start at second base in 2022.

Since making his big league debut last year, he has slashed .317/.358/.406 in a grand total of 303 at-bats between two seasons. That is no small sample size anymore. Madrigal has great contact tools and puts the ball in play where it needs to go. Before being selected fourth overall in the 2018 MLB Draft, the former Oregon State Beaver batted .361/.422/.502 during his collegiate career.

Over time it would be nice to see either Hoerner or Madrigal slide into the leadoff spot as that is something the Cubs have truly been lacking since Dexter Fowler left. Having Madrigal moving forward will be a solid pick-up. With his high contact bat and given he won’t reach free agency until 2027, we can expect good things from our new team-friendly second baseman.

Chicago Cubs Prospects:  Pitcher Codi Heuer

Also part of the Craig Kimbrel deal is relief pitcher Codi Heuer. Heuer was drafted in the sixth round of the 2018 draft by the White Sox out of Wichita State. In his minor league career, the 25-year-old right-hander posted a 2.82 ERA with the High-A Winston-Salem Dash before putting up even better numbers, a 1.84 ERA in 29 1/3 innings with the Double-A Birmingham Barons.

In 2020 he was added to the big league roster, going straight to the Majors where he quickly made an impact.

Fast forward to 2021, he has struggled this year with a 5.12 ERA in 38 2/3 innings. That being said, it’s important to note his FIP only sits at 3.67, implying that some of the runs he has surrendered have been due to spotty luck. Looking back to his rookie season in 2020, his numbers were more to his potential.  He posted a 1.52 ERA in 23 2/3 frames.

I will not be paying attention to the current 5.12 as I have seen what Heuer can do and fully believe it is just a blemish on an otherwise remarkable start to a professional career. I’m very excited about the return for Craig Kimbrel.