Chicago Cubs roster: Looking at 2023 home run projections

Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

One of the goals of the 2023 Chicago Cubs is to drastically improve home run production from last year. This offseason they have added several bats that should help bring some pop, but select returning players will also be looking to increase their power production from last season.

FanGraphs provides home run projection numbers for the members of the 2023 Cubs roster. Per FanGraphs, the Cubs have four players projected to hit at least 20 home runs, with nine of them to hit at least double-digit homers. Note prospects like Matt Mervis or Brennen Davis are not projected by FanGraphs to make the initial Opening Day 26-man roster, this list is just based on that predicted roster. The list of those top nine:

Seiya Suzuki – 25
Ian Happ – 22
Dansby Swanson – 22
Christopher Morel – 20
Cody Bellinger – 19
Trey Mancini – 17
Patrick Wisdom – 16
Eric Hosmer – 12
Nico Hoerner - 11

Suzuki being the projected home run leader is not overly surprising, he consistently hit between 26-38 home runs a season in Japan. He hit 14 last season in 111 games last year, and it's reasonable to think he could have reached 20 had he not missed some time due to a finger injury. Swanson is coming off a 25-homer season in 2022, after hitting a career-high 27 in 2021. Happ hit 17 homers last year and one could attribute his drop from 25 in 2021 to his sacrificing some pop for contact. That said, he has shown multiple times he can hit 20+ home runs in a season, so this number is absolutely attainable for him. Bellinger is projected to reach the same number of bombs he hit last year.

It is interesting to see Morel projected with more than Mancini. Morel hit 16 home runs in 113 games last year. If he is the primary third baseman in 2023 he certainly has shown has the ability to hit for solid power and could have sufficient at-bats to hit that mark. Mancini is coming off an 18-home run season, noting that prior to last year he hit 20+ home runs (including 35 in 2019) in four straight seasons. Would any of these totals be surprising for either? No. but It is interesting considering how projections tend to favor established players.

This team does not project to have a 30-home run hitter, but hopefully, the power wealth is spread around enough to equal an overall sufficient team homer total. Interesting to note that Suzuki and Wisdom were projected to reach 30 by FanGraphs last season. Wisdom's projection of 16 can be attributed to his role likely being reduced due to the additions to the roster.

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Take these projections for what they are, projections. There will be some who overperform these numbers and underperform, as these things always go.