Chicago Cubs: Ranking each position's defensive strength

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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The Chicago Cubs are valuing run prevention in 2023, using a combination of upside pitching and elite defenders. Over the past few years, the Cubs organization has collected young arms to work on developing and the offseason has seen the addition of notable defenders. Here we will rank each position on the field in terms of its defensive strength.

Obviously, the projected 26-man Opening Day roster could look slightly different after Spring Training is over compared to now, but we will go with who is on the current 40-man and likely to make it. Most of what is in question are the position depth, with most starters being locks.

9.) 3B

Key players: Christopher Morel, Patrick Wisdom, Zach McKinstry, Edwin Rios, Nick Madrigal?

There is a lot of unknown at third and is easily seen as the team's "black hole". Morel last season had some inconsistency at third, ultimately sporting a -3 DRS (defensive runs saved), -14.8 UZR/150 (Ultimate Zone Rating runs above average per 150 defensive games) per FanGraphs, and committed four errors. Wisdom sported a -6 DRS after fielding much more efficiently in 2021. Morel is very young and can improve, we just do not know to what extent he will. The Cubs also made a surprising move Friday by signing former Dodger Edwin Rios, but his defensive metrics at third are not mind-blowing, a career -3 DRS and -25.1 URZ/150. Who gets how much playing time at third is so up in the air right now.

8.) 1B

Key players: Eric Hosmer, Trey Mancini, Patrick Wisdom, Edwin Rios, Matt Mervis

Whether or not Mervis makes the Opening Day roster, it can be speculated that Hosmer and Wisdom will play a decent amount of time at first. Rios can also play first as well, while Mancini will spend much time at DH. If Hosmer indeed gets decent playing time, then it will be interesting to see how he does defensively. He won four Gold Gloves from 2013-2017, however, his defensive metrics over the past few years have not reflected as well. Last season he sported a -5 DRS and -7.9 UZR/150. He has not had a positive DRS or UZR/150 since 2020. Wisdom sports a career 0 DRS and -13.9 UZR/150 at first, so nothing overly spectacular.