I've always personally been exceptionally high on Chicago Cubs' top prospect Matt Shaw. After watching what he did offensively and defensively at Maryland, it was a no-brainer the Cubs were getting a steal in the first round. Between College and his first year of pro ball, Shaw batted .347 with 32 HRs and 97 RBIs in 421 at-bats. Considering he's also won the Brooks Wallace Award, there's never really been a question about his abilities.
He's now getting national mentions as his game continues to excel the higher he climbs. Jim Callis over at MLB.com gives Shaw the honor of tabbing him as the biggest riser among all prospects next year:
"The Cubs took him 13th overall. He was considered one of the best hitters in the college ranks of last year’s Draft. He was one of the best hitters in the Draft in pro ball."- Jim Callis
Hard to disagree after taking a look at his collegiate career. The fact that Shaw fell to 13th was spectacular luck for the Cubs. How high can he climb in 2024? Sahadev Sharma at The Athletic (subscription required) also lists Shaw as a breakout candidate, tabbing him as a potential top-20 prospect by season's end.
"There’s a chance he emerges as a top-20 prospect in the game and then pushes his way to the big-league team, especially if the Cubs are contending. "- Sahadev Sharma
With only 65 at-bats in Double-A Tennessee in 2023, I expect him to start there and excel up the ladder quickly in 2024. As mentioned by Sharma, the Cubs will want a hitter they can call up if need be toward the end of next season, so long as they are competing. Shaw checks all the boxes of a player that can be elite at the highest level. Want power? Let's not forget this blast from March of 2023:
Given that shortstop and second base are blocked by two Gold Glove winners in Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner, respectively, expect Shaw to get more reps at third base in 2024. Third base is the Cubs' biggest position of need heading into 2024, so it makes sense to try converting Shaw to the hot corner, where his natural raw talent should help him succeed. Hopefully, Shaw will jump to Triple-A Iowa before long, where he will be one step from MLB in a Cubs uniform.