James Triantos is the prospect that Chicago Cubs fans need to keep an eye on

MLB Pipeline named Cubs' no. 5 prospect one of the best pure hitters in the minor leagues
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs figure to be active at the 2024 trade deadline this July, and their No. 5 prospect James Triantos could be on the move. Triantos is already one of the most valuable players in the organization, but his stock should rise after MLB Pipeline included him on their list of the best pure hitters in the minor leagues this week.

The 21-year-old was selected by the Cubs in the second round of the 2021 draft and he quickly rose through the system due in part to his stellar contact-hitting abilities. According to MLB.com, contact hitting is graded as Triantos' best tool (60), with his arm (55) and power (50) close behind. Although the power has not fully translated on the field yet, as he only has 12 home runs and 50 doubles over four seasons in the minors, Triantos is still young enough where this tool could develop through growth and weight gain.

There isn't much room for Triantos with the Cubs

Triantos primarily plays second base these days after struggling to adapt to third base earlier in his career. Although he seems to play better defense at second, the change makes it harder for him to ascend to the majors with the Cubs. Nico Hoerner is the undisputed everyday second baseman and he is currently under contract through the 2026 season. There are also multiple players on the big-league roster capable of playing second base, including Nick Madrigal, Christopher Morel, Michael Busch, and Luis Vazquez.

Triantos' Tennessee Smokies teammate Matt Shaw also projects to be a utility man for the big-league team who can play multiple positions, with second base being one of them. Each one of those players is also on par or better on defense at the position than Triantos (aside from Busch). This makes his path to the big leagues complicated at best, at least with the Cubs.

The current situation makes Triantos a logical player to move if the Cubs are competitive enough to be buyers at the trade deadline. As long as they bounce back from a rough month of May, a division title or wild card spot should be in the conversation come July.