Matt Shaw SS
2023 Level(s): Rookie Ball, High-A South Bend, AA Tennessee
Joined the organization via: 1st Round Pick in 2023 Draft
2023 Stats: 170 PA, .357/.400/.618, 8 HR, 21 XBH, 15/18 SB, 28 RBI, 27 R
Counting your chickens before they have hatched is a dangerous thing to do, but it absolutely appears that the Cubs have done a great job in their scouting department to find players and subsequently develop those players in the early rounds. Shaw and another player in the top five are the Cubs first round picks from the last two drafts and they are legitimate top-20 prospects in all of baseball.
When you look at Matt Shaw there’s not much not to like. He played in the Big Ten at Maryland and so the spotlight didn’t shine as brightly on him as it may have shone on players from the SEC or Pac-12 in hotter climates that allowed for more baseball to be played.
That being said, we were on Shaw from the beginning and had this to say prior to the draft:
"Matt Shaw is an interesting player. He can hit for contact and he can hit for power, so it’s the bat that will likely make him a first round pick. He’s hit over 50 home runs while in college with 46 of those coming in his sophomore and junior seasons. This year he walked more often (43) than he struck out (42) and he showed some speed and baserunning prowess by stealing 18-19 bases he attempted."- Cubbies Crib
Once he was drafted we were completely in favor of the pick and he went on to put up an even better rookie season than he had put up in college. He played at three levels ending in Tennessee. He’ll likely start the year back at Tennessee with fellow top-five prospects Kevin Alcantara and Moises Ballesteros making it one of the best offenses in the Cubs’ system to start the year.
That being said, Shaw is the kind of player that fans can dream of. He can hit for average, he can hit for power, he can steal bases and he can play a defensive up the middle position. If the Cubs were to send Shaw away in a trade it would be for a legitimate star at the major league level and if they were to call him up to the big leagues he may become a star in his own right.
There is a world where Matt Shaw ends the season as a top-five prospect in baseball and it’s not that hard to envision it. Perhaps the only thing that would prevent it is if he were to no longer be considered a prospect at the end of the season due to already being in the major leagues.