5 players who could play center field for the Cubs in 2024

The Chicago Cubs will have to address center field this offseason and decide whether one of their rookies is ready to handle the position on an every day basis
Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages
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There is major work for the Chicago Cubs front office to do this winter, not the least of which is solidifying a long-term solution for the center field position.

1. Cody Bellinger

Whether we like it or not, Cody Bellinger's future is incredibly uncertain and there is a serious possibility that he signs with a different team this offseason. But if he comes back, center field is obviously a position he will see significant time at.

At 28-years-old, Bellinger proved that he can still play excellent defense in center in 2023. He has great speed, a solid arm, and good route-running instincts. Not to mention his bat was arguably the driving force of the team's offense throughout the year. Clearly bringing him back is a priority but everyone needs to prepare to see Bellinger walk in free agency this winter.

2. Pete Crow-Armstrong

The clear candidate to receive the full-time center field duties is rookie Pete Crow-Armstrong. As the 12th-best prospect in the league according to MLB.com, there are very high hopes for Crow-Armstrong's future. It's easy to see why when you take his defense into account as the 21-year-old flashes platinum-glove-level defense in his brief major league stint.

Crow-Armstrong's glove alone demands a lot of playing time as his superb defense could help cover the shortcomings of Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki in the corners. The rookie is also a significant stolen base threat and he has already swiped 71 bags in just two full seasons in the minor leagues. Combined with Nico Hoerner, who stole 43 bases this year, Crow-Armstrong could give the lineup speed it hasn't seen in years.

The major shortcoming of Crow-Armstrong's game is certainly his bat, which was heavily criticized for being inadequate to handle big-league pitching. I think it's a bit unfair to jump to that conclusion since the guy compiled just 14 at-bats this year. I think this small taste of major league pitching could be useful for Crow-Armstrong's development and give him an idea of what to expect going into next year.