Chicago Cubs: Imagination, intrigue and the case for a 2025 starting lineup

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
4 of 4
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Chicago Cubs: Speed will rule this outfield

From a two-sport athlete in high school to shifting focus strictly to baseball, Brennen Davis was the prospect in the 2018 draft who was primarily passed over. Since he joined the organization three years ago, Davis has not finished a season with a wRC+ lower than 130, a remarkable feat on its own. The Cubs see Davis as their guy in center field. Davis sees himself in center field. By 2025 expect Davis to have been in the lineup for three seasons as a premier toolsy player.

Two of the more intriguing outfield prospects, Ismael Mena and Jordan Nwogu, would complement Davis perfectly. All three are listed as center fielders. However, we know how that usually goes in the long run. Mena was acquired as a part of the Yu Darvish deal last winter. Nwogu landed in Chicago as a third-round selection in 2020.

More from Cubbies Crib

The Cubs will need a strong core in the outfield and a core that learns and understands how to communicate. Veteran and morale leader Jason Heyward will be a free agent after the 2024 season, and despite the massive contract and inconsistent bat, the Cubs will lose that leadership.

A third name who could be in consideration is recently promoted, Nelson Velazquez. The 22-year-old began his year in High-A before the recent jump. However, Nelson found serious power and mashed 12 home runs in just 69 games. Thus far at Tennessee, Velazquez is hitting .273 with a 185 wRC+. He has the time, and the Cubs can develop his talents well before he hits his prime.

Alexander Canario, who the Cubs acquired in the Kris Bryant deal, is primed to be a staple. Canario is only 21 years old, and through five games at High-A with Myrtle Beach, is hitting .389 with a 165 wRC+. He could end up being the best outfield prospect not named Brennen Davis.

In the deal with the New York Mets for Javier Báez, Pete Crow-Armstrong represents yet another superb outfield bat. The 19-year-old was hitting .417 at Low-A St. Lucie before the trade and his left-handedness should complement Davis nicely. The 2025 season will be right in line with where I hope the Cubs have his development.

Next. Cubs hadn't talked new deal with Bryant since 2017. dark

Outfielders are a dime a dozen much of the time. However, the Cubs have some unique talents in the wings, and they need to continue to take advantage of the talent. Then, the Cubs will be okay.