3 Cubs players fighting for their futures heading into the 2024 season

Time's running out for these three players to prove they have a long-term role to play.

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
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Two years ago, the state of the Chicago Cubs farm system left plenty to be desired, leading to the fanbase betting heavily on the top-ranked prospects and the haul that came over in the trade deadline deals that ended the Cubs tenure of Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and others.

Since that time, though, several of those new faces from two years ago have blossomed - and a combination of savvy trade deadline moves and strong draft positions have helped Jed Hoyer rebuild the team's minor league depth far more quickly than initially expected.

With the improved depth at pretty much every level of the organizational depth chart, though, the pressure is on several players to prove they have something to offer long-term. Let's look at 3 to see where they stand heading into 2024.

Caleb Kilian continues to show flashes, but still lacks consistency

After tossing two scoreless innings on Tuesday night, right-hander Caleb Kilian exited with Cubs trainers. The update wasn't great on Wednesday, with Craig Counsell calling the injury 'concerning' but one hopes it doesn't derail his entire campaign because Kilian is a guy who definitely has a lot riding on the 2024 season.

Part of the Kris Bryant trade back in 2021 along with Alexander Canario, Kilian ranked as the Cubs' #4-ranked prospect in 2022, before falling back to #23 last year and missing out on the top 30 altogether in this week's update from MLB Pipeline. No one is questioning his stuff, but the results just haven't followed.

Last season, he worked to a 4.56 ERA in 120 1/3 innings at Triple-A Iowa with a severely diminished strikeout rate. The handful of appearances at the big league level didn't go well either, so it's all eyes on the former top prospect in 2024 as he looks to get things back on track.


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