As the Chicago Cubs play out the final month and a half of the Major League Baseball regular season, the focus will soon shift towards 2023 and how to address the areas of weakness across the Major League roster.
Perhaps the largest area of weakness that the Cubs will need to address this offseason is the offense.
The Cubs have spent much of the past three years preaching a contact-first approach on offense and emphasizing putting the ball in play as opposed to putting the ball over the fence.
Through that approach, the Cubs have identified Nico Hoerner as a legitimate starting shortstop this season and Ian Happ earned All-Star honors for the first time in his career.
In the power department, the Cubs haven’t been bad but they haven’t been great either. Entering play Monday, the Cubs ranked 13th across all of Major League Baseball with a team ISO of .153 this season, and 15th in total home runs with 126.
There is room for improvement for the Cubs in regard to the power within their starting lineup. Cubs’ president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer does plan to address the team’s need for power this offseason.
“This year, we put the ball on the ground way too often,” the Cubs president of baseball operations said. “We’ve gotten on base, we’ve done a good job of grinding at-bats but [not] finishing off rallies, too many double plays, not enough power in some ways. So those are some things we have to address.”
Pending free agent shortstops Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts figure to be towards the top of the Cubs’ wish list this offseason and both would certainly help improve the power numbers of the Cubs starting lineup.
There is, however, an emerging internal improvement for the Cubs that figures to be ready for the Major League level at some point during the 2023 season. That improvement could come from 22-year-old outfielder Alexander Canario.
The Chicago Cubs have promoted slugging outfielder Alexander Canario to AAA.
While Caleb Killian drew all the attention this season as part of the return that the Cubs received from the San Francisco Giants last season in the Kris Bryant trade, Canario was believed to be the better of the two prospects in that trade.
In his first full professional season with the Cubs’ organization, Canario has exploded onto the scene this season with an offensive line of .256/.336/.559/.895 to go along with 31 home runs and 83 RBIs.
Canario spent the past 81 games with the Cubs’ Double-A affiliate in Tennessee but he is now on his way to Triple-A Iowa.
Canario will likely spend the final month of the regular season with Iowa Cubs and it is likely that he begins next season with Iowa as well.
If Canario is able to make the adjustment to Triple-A pitching relatively quickly, there is a chance that he jumps outfielder Brennan Davis in regard to being the first prospect to make his Major League debut in early 2023.