Chicago Cubs News: Who will be the team's leadoff hitter?

Sep 30, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner (2) hits a two run double
Sep 30, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner (2) hits a two run double / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs have dedicated their offseason activity to raising the floor of their expected level of offensive production and there is no doubt that the team has been successful in their effort. The question that remains for the Cubs, and has been asked at the start of each season since 2017, is who will be the team's leadoff hitter in 2023? David Ross addressed that question over the weekend at the Cubs' Convention and provided some early insights into the Cubs' projected lineup.

"“I think we’ve got a couple different ways we can look at that,” Ross said. “Happer’s done it before. I think Seiya’s going to fit more in the middle, Belly’s going to fit more in the middle. Dansby is intriguing with the way he hits the fastball. Nico is also intriguing. Depending on where (Nick) Madrigal fits in and how he continues to bounce back after some injuries, there’s some guys in the mix for that.”"

David Ross via The Athletic

There had been an idea floating that the Cubs may attempt to use Cody Bellinger at the leadoff spot in 2023. The thought is that Bellinger in the leadoff spot would provide a similar impact to what Kyle Schwarber had with the Philadelphia Phillies last season. The issue with that strategy as it pertains to the Cubs is that Bellinger does not nearly have the same ability to take walks that Schwarber does. That is likely the reason why Bellinger likely slots into the Cubs' lineup after the cleanup spot.

Nick Madrigal likely isn't a realistic option either. It seems more likely that the Cubs will feature a platoon of Patrick Wisdom and Christopher Morel at the third base position and that would leave Madrigal without a starting position in 2023. The addition of Trey Mancini also means that Madrigal likely will not see his plate appearances come as the team's designated hitter.

Next. Can the Chicago Cubs content in 2023? . dark

The two most realistic options for the leadoff spot for the Cubs is either Nico Hoerner or Dansby Swanson. While Swanson certainly has more power in his bat, Hoerner has proved to have consistent success at putting the ball in play. Combining Hoerner's contact ability with his speed and he should be viewed as the favorite to be the team's leadoff hitter in 2023.