Watch Cubs prospect Matt Mervis slug his third homer of the season

Iowa Cubs first baseman Matt Mervis (41) catches the ball for an out during the season opener at Principal Park.
Iowa Cubs first baseman Matt Mervis (41) catches the ball for an out during the season opener at Principal Park. / Margaret Kispert/The Register / USA

At least for the time being, Matt Mervis is tasked with proving what he did during his rapid climb through the Cubs organization in 2022 was no fluke. On Tuesday night, he added to his impressive start, hitting his third home run in just the ninth game of the season for the Iowa Cubs.

On the night, Mervis went 2-for-4 with the aforementioned home run, a double and a walk. As Iowa broadcaster Alex Cohen pointed out on Twitter, that double came against a lefty - which is a question he's looking to put to bed this year as he makes his case for the big league roster.

In nine games, the Cubs' #7 ranked prospect is slashing .250/.395/.594 with 12 RBI, 11 runs and as many walks as strikeouts. And, dating back to last year, the sample size isn't small at this point, either.

For the time being, Chicago is content going with veteran Eric Hosmer at first after bringing him in on a league minimum deal this offseason. He hasn't been the disaster many fans expected early, with a 110 OPS+ at the dish, buoyed by a .394 on-base percentage. The first base picture gets even more crowded soon, too, with the return of Seiya Suzuki, pushing Trey Mancini back to DH and first base duties.

Mancini has struggled offensively, but did hit his first Cubs home run in Tuesday's crazy win at Wrigley, so hopefully that's a sign of him settling in. He's had some quality at-bats and has shown an ability to use the whole field - and just 43 plate appearances into the season, it's nowhere near time to hit the panic button there.

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A hot start for Mervis is exactly what you want to see, not because you expect an imminent call-up, but because there are plenty of people who see his 2022 breakout performance as an aberration rather than a sign of things to come. His coming out strong in 2023 is a good first step toward proving he can be a long-term answer for the Cubs at first base - a position they lack impact depth or a solution at past this season.