Prospect experts Jim Callis and Sam Dykstra released an article on MLB dot com predicting one prospect from every team's organization that they believe will break out in 2024. For the Chicago Cubs, it was their No. 9 prospect, James Triantos. Still just 20 years old, Triantos possesses raw talent as an infielder but does not get enough love, as most attention regarding Cubs prospects goes to Pete Crow-Armstrong and Cade Horton.
"After hitting .287/.364/.391 with four homers and 16 steals in 83 games (mostly in High-A) following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, Triantos hinted at his upside while winning offensive player of the year accolades in the Arizona Fall League."- MLB.com
In his 350 plate appearances at High-A South Bend, Triantos recorded 115 wRC+ and drove in 46 RBIs throughout 80 games. Showcasing his base-stealing ability, he swiped 16 bags in that time, an encouraging sign after requiring surgery on a meniscus tear earlier in the year. Triantos possesses excellent bat-to-ball skills, as evidenced by his 10.6 K% in High-A, and has thus far been more of a pure contact hitter than a power threat.
The biggest question will be how well he can lock down a defensive position. Where other prospects such as Crow-Armstrong elevate their floor with spectacular defense, Triantos only managed a .94 fielding percentage, which rates out to below league average in MLB.
More than likely set to play ball for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies in 2024, Triantos has nothing but time to improve further. Listed as a 2B/3B, given this timeline being at least a couple of years away from MLB status, he shouldn't find himself with a long-term block by Nico Hoerner at second, his primary position. All of that will be worried about when it needs to be. For now, Triantos has a chance to excel up the Cubs prospects rankings, and watching him compete this year will be a joy.