Chicago Cubs may have to move on from this former top prospect

Matt Mervis has been completely overmatched by big league pitching and time is running out for him to figure things out in Chicago.
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We are less than 365 days removed from “Mash” Mervis being called up as the potential savior of the 2023 Chicago Cubs’ woeful first base offense. On May 5, 2023 Mervis was recalled from Triple-A Iowa after hitting .295/.407/.580 with six homers and as many walks (17) as strikeouts in the month of April.

Unfortunately, he didn’t have the same level of success when he made it to the majors and the same has been true every time he's gotten the opportunity to return.

That didn't prevent MLB Pipeline from naming him one of the top first base prospects in baseball prior to the 2024 season though. Oftentimes, prospects struggle to make the transition from Triple-A and it doesn’t mean that it’s time to give up on them. 

Pete Crow-Armstrong was horrible at the end of last season and MLB’s top prospect, Jackson Holliday, had a rough first taste of the highest level of competition when he made his debut earlier this year.

It looks different for Mervis though. 

Matt Mervis looks completely overmatched in every possible way

His confidence appears to be shaken, and that’s not something that is new. Last season it’s something that various writers pointed out in a way that seemed like they pitied him for having to go out and fail so spectacularly and so publicly. 

Last season when he came up against a left-handed pitcher they could get him to chase breaking balls with ease and it looked like he’d solved that problem in the minors this year as he had a slash line against lefties of .294/.364/.706.

However, this season he’s looked equally outmatched by lefties and righties. He legitimately appears to be making up his mind on whether or not to swing prior to the pitcher even starting his delivery and it has led to some dreadful looking swings.

All that being said, I don’t know that Mervis is toast as a player.

The name that always comes to mind when I think of someone that mashed in Triple-A and struggled in the majors is Chris Davis. He had mid-2000’s Texas Rangers fans as frustrated as Mervis has Cubs fans right now because he’d show glimpses of light-tower power in the minors and then flounder in the big leagues. After being traded to the Baltimore Orioles he'd go on to hit nearly 300 career homers.

Perhaps the best thing for Mervis (and the Cubs) is a change of scenery, and I'm not talking about a trip back to Iowa.