3 Chicago Cubs players who'll be better in 2023 and 2 who won't

Philadelphia Phillies v Chicago Cubs
Philadelphia Phillies v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
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If nothing else, the 2023 Cubs will be intriguing. Barring some major breakout performances and adding at the trade deadline, they don't appear to be legitimate contenders. But they're also notably better (at least on paper) than they were a year ago and could prove to be a surprise team in the hunt right up till the end of the season.

There's a ton of new faces heading into camp next month, but it'll take those new guys and some familiar presences clicking and playing at a high level for this team to make the postseason. But we know odds are, there will be some positive surprises - as well as guys who underperform.

Here are 3 Cubs who will improve on their 2022 performances and 2 poised to take a step back.

3 Cubs players who will be better in 2023: #3 - Seiya Suzuki

Along with Marcus Stroman, Seiya Suzuki was the Cubs' biggest offseason acquisition a year ago. Signed to a five-year deal, the Japanese outfielder came to Chicago and got off to a scorching start, winning National League Rookie of the Month honors in April after he slashed .279/.405/.529 in his first taste of big league action.

From there, we saw some ups and downs, which included injuries and some expected adjustment periods as the league's arms changed how they attacked him. He finished the year with a 2.0 bWAR and 116 OPS+ in 111 contests. All in all, a solid debut season for the now-28-year-old.

In his second full MLB season, I think there's a good chance Suzuki takes a big step forward. He's more acclimated not only to the game, but the culture - and without those distractions and surprises, he should be able to lock in and showcase what made him the biggest international free agent a winter ago.