It’s been some time since the Chicago Cubs headed into a season with such muted expectations. Really, you have to go back to 2015 for the last time the team wasn’t even expected to make noise – although even then, you had the hype that came with the additions of Joe Maddon and Jon Lester and a young prospect core on the rise.
This year, the Cubs will look to defy expectations and make some noise in one of the weakest divisions in all baseball. To do that, they’ll need to have some guys really step up – and for some things to fall their way elsewhere. Here are 3 bold predictions heading into the 2022 regular season.
3 bold Chicago Cubs predictions: #3 – Frank Schwindel is an All-Star
Unlike Patrick Wisdom, the other breakout infielder on last year’s team, I think Frank Schwindel’s success is actually sustainable – and, this year, he’s going to prove it.
After winning NL Rookie of the Month honors in August and September last summer, the Cubs first baseman is carrying a ton of momentum into 2022. He finished last year with a .326/.371/.591 line – which helped him finish sixth in National League Rookie of the Year voting.
He barreled the ball up what felt like every time he stepped to the dish, rarely struck out and made a huge difference in the order. Even newcomer Marcus Stroman knows this guy could be something special.
"“Frank’s somebody I’ll continue to ask questions to,” he told Marquee Sports Network over the weekend, “I think he’s an unbelievable hitter. His ability to barrel the ball — I just want to know his thought process, what he’s thinking in certain counts. Being able to throw ideas off of each other, that’s how you learn and that’s how you take your game to the next level.”"
If he can build on what he did last season, there’s no reason he can’t secure the first base job on the North Side for years to come.