Chicago Cubs Prospects: Haydn McGeary primed for a big step forward

Chicago Cubs v Minnesota Twins
Chicago Cubs v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

We should be talking about one of the more under-the-radar prospects with a high upside for the Chicago Cubs in Haydn McGeary. Take a peak, and get ready to laugh at these video games numbers in his collegiate career with Mesa State:

  • 2019: .347/.401/.646, 11 HRs/46 RBIs
  • 2020: .471/.525/1.014, 9 HRs/30 RBIs (In 18 games before COVID)
  • 2021: .481/.541/.973, 20 HRs/80 RBIs
  • 2022: .481/.579/1.061, 35 HRs/79 RBIs

Listed as a DH/C/1B, the 6'5" 235 lb. McGeary was drafted in the 15th round of the 2022 draft by the Cubs and got to work with a very brief six-game stint in rookie ball. He swiftly moved to Myrtle Beach, slashing .292/.346/.458 in 48 at-bats. He only hit one home run in A-ball but knocked in eight RBIs.

Analytically, the numbers get better the deeper you dive. Let's glance at his final year of college. He accumulated a 15.87% walk rate and a K rate of just 14.78%. His OBP of .579 and slg% of 1.061 added up to an OPS of 1.640. His .579 ISO, .479 BABIP, and 6.11 ab/hr make him an undeniable candidate for somebody who should have received a D1 scholarship long ago. McGeary earned awards, including reigning RMAC Player of the Year and ABCA South Central Regional Player of the Year in 2022. You can check out the rest of his accolades here.

As Northside Bound initially pointed out, the jump from Low-A to High-A will be his first real challenge, facing pitchers that were simply at a higher level of competition in college. In his first few games in Rookie Ball, his strike-out rate spiked to 28.57%, albeit in a small sample of 18 ABs. He lowered his K rate to 23.08% at Myrtle Beach over a larger 48 AB sample. On the more positive side,
At 23 years old, he's a little older than his competition in Low-A. He should find himself on the fast track up the ladder should he continue to excel.

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McGeary has those numbers that were so good that his natural ability to hit for average and power makes you wonder if he has the raw talent to have at least some of that skillset carry over to higher levels of competition. He succeeds at South Bend in a perfect world and finds himself in Double-A Tennesse before the 2023 campaign concludes. In any case, keep him circled on your list of prospects to keep an eye on this season.