With all the Chicago Cubs prospect hype surrounding potential call-ups for Pete Crow-Armstrong and Jordan Wicks, it's easy to lose sight of everybody else playing at a high level in the Cubs farm system. With the fourth-best farm system in the game per MLB Pipeline, the Cubs have the luxury of having many prospects playing at a high level. One player who has yet to be added to everybody's radar again is outfielder Alexander Canario.
After a devastating injury in the Dominican Winter League last winter, Canario's 2023 campaign started late. After adjusting and getting back into rhythm, he is scorching Earth at the Triple-A level. Last season, Matt Mervis' breakout season somewhat overshadowed Canario, who hit 37 home runs and drove in 97 runs, ascending the ranks from High-A to Iowa in his own right. Now, Canario appears fully re-acclimated and back in form.
Since August 8, during his 12-game hitting streak, Canario is 21-for-54, which is good for a .389 batting average. That span includes 6 home runs, 21 RBI and 13 extra-base hits. On Thursday night, he crushed two home runs and two doubles and drove in four, tallying 12 total bases. His slash line now sits respectfully at .296/.364/.568, with nine long balls and 47 driven in total on the season in just 48 games.
His torrid pace is a quick reminder of who he was last season. Still, this year, he's doing it all at the highest level of the minors, minus a quick rehab stint earlier this summer. Unfortunately, given the impressive outfield prospect depth in the Cubs organization, navigating a path toward everyday playing time in the majors becomes quite complicated.
Chicago Cubs: What to do what Alexander Canario moving forward
Given that PCA is excelling in Triple-A, an interesting potential issue presents itself regarding Canario. With the Cubs looking to prioritize Cody Bellinger this winter, and given PCA's incredible defense in center field, it leaves little room for guys like Canario at the major league level. If Canario finishes the season strong, showing the same prowess as last year, don't be surprised if he becomes utilized in trade talks this winter so the Cubs front office can bolster the team at the major league level.
Of course, the Cubs don't have to move him, either. Canario has only recorded 185 at-bats on the season, 125 of which have been at Iowa. Though he's red hot right now, the front office may keep him waiting in the wings as a depth piece. One thing that is for sure, however, is if he finishes the season strong and healthy, his value as an MLB-ready trade chip to acquire big-league talent will be at its peak.
However, you can also envision a scenario where Canario's track record from last season, coupled with what he's doing now, could prompt a late-season call-up this year. Although, that call will likely belong to PCA if he keeps playing well. Still, Canario is a fascinating prospect with immense upside that the Cubs may be wise to keep and find a role for.