Chicago Cubs first base prospect Matt Mervis got an opportunity to be the team's everyday first baseman during the first half of the 2023 season but his struggles resulted in him finishing the season in Triple-A Iowa.
Mervis was a fan favorite as he ascended through the Cubs' minor-league system over the course of the past two seasons with the nickname "Mash" being handed to him before he ever faced Major League pitching.
When the time arrived for Mervis to face Major League pitching, he struggled. In 99 plate appearances at the Major League level last season, Mervis slashed .167/.242/.289 with 3 home runs and a 46 wRC+.
While 99 plate appearances are far from enough of a sample size to give up a prospect, Mervis likely does not have the same backing that a top prospect of an organization would have. The fact that the Cubs did not bring Mervis back to the Major League level at any point during the second half of the season may suggest that the team is not necessarily counting on the prospect being an important piece to their long-term future.
Look no further than this very direct criticism of Mervis that was in Sahadev Sharma's Cubs' mailbag for The Athletic (Subscription Required).
"Not only did he struggle mightily in his 99 plate appearances in the majors, but he was really searching for it mentally. He didn’t seem to know how to prepare for the day-to-day grind and struggled to handle failure."- The Athletic
This was always going to be the likeliest of outcomes for Mervis as the hype from Cubs' fans never matched the evaluations of those within Major League baseball. Assuming the Cubs are able to sign one of Cody Bellinger or Rhys Hoskins, it does not appear likely that Mervis will play a role on the 2024 team.