3 Cubs who won't make the opening day roster, but will contribute a lot in 2023
3. Matt Mervis
Matt Mervis is coming off one of the best seasons by any minor league player last year, where he raked a whopping 36 home runs in drove-in 119 with a stellar .984 OPS. Now the Cubs 7th ranked prospect, Mervis would slot nicely into the lineup if he can come anywhere close to that production against big league pitching. He is a 6'4 left-handed hitting 1st baseman with unbelievable power. He is Anthony Rizzo reincarnate, and he will be on the Cubs' major league roster by the end of the year.
It seems like the Cubs will be rolling with Eric Hosmer at 1st base to start the season though, which makes sense as Mervis is not even on the 40-man roster yet. However, Hosmer will have to step up his game a lot if he wants to keep his spot on the Cubs. The veteran has a lot to prove after getting bounced by the Padres and Red Sox last season due to wretched offensive struggles. Not to mention the Padres were willing to eat $36 million over the next three years just to get Hosmer off their team. Yikes. If Mervis continues to rake in Iowa in the beginning of the year, it may be hard to justify starting Hosmer at 1st base if he continues to struggle.