Chicago Cubs prospect Hayden Wesneski named Spring Training standout

Seattle Mariners v Chicago Cubs
Seattle Mariners v Chicago Cubs / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

The biggest takeaway from Chicago Cubs Spring Training this season has been the emergence of pitching prospect Hayden Wesneski. Wesneski began Spring Training in the mix for the last spot in the Cubs' starting rotation but there was a sense that the Cubs may begin the prospect in Triple-A as a way to limit the number of innings he pitches this season. Or, in other words, as a way to manipulate his Major League Baseball service time.

Though, outside of his most recent Cactus League start last Friday, Wesneski has been flawless to the point where David Ross welcomed the adversity that the pitching prospect faced against the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.

That should be why it should come as no surprise that Wesneski was named the "Camp Standout" for the Cubs by Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline. Callis spoke with Cubs' vice president of player development Jared Banner about Wesneski and Banner had nothing but praise for the prospect.

""Hayden does a lot of things well," Banner said. "His slider is a premium pitch, he executes the gameplan well and he's a big-time competitor. That's a nice recipe for success.""

Jared Banner via MLB Pipeline

Wesneski's emergence this Spring has certainly been an important factor for the Cubs' rotation moving forward. Wesneski's run at the Major League level at the end of the 2022 season and in Spring Training this year has shown that he may be closer to the ceiling of his prospect potential than he is the floor. The ceiling is a top-three pitcher in a Major League rotation and the floor is an effective multi-inning reliever.

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For the Cubs, there is still a lack of a true top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher. Marcus Stroman will undoubtedly enter the season as the team's ace but he likely is more of a No. 2 starting pitcher on a team that is a postseason contender. It is too early to put the ace projection on Wesneski but it also can't be ruled out either