Alexander Canario's 2024 outlook for the Chicago Cubs

Understanding why Alexander Canario can be a vital piece of the Chicago Cubs organization for years to come if he can receive playing time.

Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Looking ahead to 2024, how important is it that the younger players start to break out for the major league club? In one word, It's essential. Without it, it will be a long year. Thankfully, the Cubs have guys that appear ready to step into the spotlight on the grandest stage, and one of those players is young slugger, Alexander Canario.

After a breakout year got him all the way to Triple-A in 2022, Canario suffered a freak injury in the Dominican Winter League last year and therefore missed a big chunk of the 2023 season altogether.

Because of that, unfortunately, we weren't given an in-depth look at Alexander Canario this season. Even after a breakout game in which he recorded an RBI double and a booming grand slam, former manager David Ross confusingly opted to keep him on the bench moving forward rather than let him break out. In a year when Canario needed as many reps as possible, at any level, benching him and not letting him play at all was the worst thing that could have been done.

Granted, the team was in a playoff race. Still, there were situations where Canario could have received at-bats and, at the very least, should have been in Iowa, where he could play every day. Who knows how much better the outlook for him would be at this juncture, but for now, he's still a question mark regarding what he can bring to the MLB level.

This scenario was unfortunate because the Cubs are planning to spend big this winter, and limiting Canario's experience now seems detrimental, whether they plan to add him to the roster or in trade talks.

Looking at teams like Atlanta or Los Angeles, for example, their lineup is typically scattered with at least a few solid younger hitters at the bottom of the order that still poses a formidable threat. With an ever-inflating free agent market like we witnessed last winter, the balance of production between players on team-friendly, pre-arbitration deals and veteran All-Stars is more critical than ever.

Chicago Cubs: What can we expect from Canario in 2024?

Hopefully, every day playing time. Of course, the offseason is young, and the outlook for the 2024 Cubs will change drastically before it's all said and done. Every day playing time at the MLB level seems unlikely right out of the gate, but if Canario can head to Iowa to begin the campaign and go on a tear, he needs to be given a fair chance to succeed. Players like Canario on extremely cheap deals can offer you that balance of rookie/veteran production to form a formidable playoff team.

We tend to talk about prospects in the Cubs farm as if they're all going to be traded for MLB talent outside of Pete-Crow Armstrong. In Canario, you have a 30-home run upside hitter with plus tools as an outfielder and base runner. Let's let these guys have a shot at being part of the big league club and see who sticks. We'll always have a bad taste when remembering the Dylan Cease/Eloy Jimenez deal for Jose Quintana. I would love to see Canario, still 23 years old, be able to find himself an everyday spot on the roster.

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