Cubs prospect Matt Mervis returns from the World Baseball Classic
Chicago Cubs prospect Matt Mervis returned to the spring training lineup Friday afternoon after playing for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic. Mervis, the team's #7 prospect per MLB Pipeline, was slotted into the Cubs lineup playing at first in their game against the Dodgers at Sloan Park. The 24-year-old slugger wound up going 3-for-4 with two singles and a double. He was the only Cub to have multiple hits in Chicago's 9-7 loss.
Mervis returned from the WBC and having a big day at the plate was really nice to see. With the three hits, he raised his Cactus League OBP to .385. He's drawn five walks so far in addition to his five hits (three singles and two doubles). Even though he has not hit the ball over the fence yet in Arizona, he has shown how hard he can sting the ball even on singles.
How Mervis looks the rest of this spring will be well worth following. It's no secret many fans would love to see Mervis make it to the big leagues out of the gate in 2023. First base is currently projected to be Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini as the primary guys, with Patrick Wisdom and Edwin Rios as depth options. It seems likely, though not fully set in stone, that Mervis will start the year in Triple-A Iowa.
It feels like a safe bet that Mervis will see the Majors sooner than later regardless of where he starts on Opening Day. The Cubs certainly don't lack first basemen on their current roster, but the upside Mervis has makes him arguably the most intriguing option going forward. Hosmer is the veteran safety net/placeholder while Mancini can slot into multiple positions including outfield and DH, so Mervis should not have trouble fitting in whenever he does make it to the Cubs.