This series of Cubs prospect profiles is based on Fangraphs’ top 52 prospects list, minus the players who have already been profiled. Generally, these will be of Triple-A and Double-A players that might see the 40-man roster at some point. I’m not necessarily doing them in order and will skip around a bit.
Haydn McGeary, at age 24, is getting a bit long in the tooth to be a true prospect. The Glendale, AZ native was drafted by the Cubs in 2022, in the 15th round (No. 443 overall), from Colorado Mesa University, where he won a LOT of honors.
That’s not exactly a prepossessing pedigree. But his bat plays. He’s a lifetime .274/.390/.455 hitter in 503 minor league at-bats, between Myrtle Beach and South Bend. He’s hit 20 home runs and driven in 99, and while his strikeouts are a bit high at 139 (around 28 percent), he’s not afraid to accept his walks (89).
The burly righthander would seem ticketed for Iowa if Matt Mervis finds greener pastures, whether that be Chicago or a destination as-yet unknown, and pending the results of the Christopher Morel First Base Experiment.
McGeary’s numbers aren’t quite what he’d need to take the next step, but a good campaign could put him on the MLB board. Indeed, he was an Organization All-Star in 2023, and the Cubs don’t hand that kind of recognition out like Hallowe’en candy.
MLB.com has him as their No. 17 Cubs prospect. His defensive rating is not good. His power, though, rates a 55, and they note that “He led Division-II in hitting (.481), on-base percentage (.579), slugging (1.061), OPS (1.640), hits (103), homers (35), total bases (227) in 2022 and planned to transfer to Kentucky for his final season before the Cubs drafted him in the 15th round.”
But... “... the hope is that he can become an adequate defender at first.”
MLB has the DH now. McGeary would seem ticketed for that spot. EASY power:
He could, could, see Wrigley in 2024, but 2025 is more likely. A full season of minor-league ball where he just mashes would do him a world of good. Hitting in Iowa’s talented lineup would, too.
There’s going to be a lot of movement between now and Opening Day. McGeary could fill quite a few different spots, depending. He is not on the 40-man roster. One could make a case for him, but there are a lot of moving parts and no hurry to do so.
Still, that power. Patrick Wisdom-esque. Decent strike zone judgement, not-bad pitch selection. Aldo Soto likened his swing to that of Aramis Ramirez. The Cubs’ first-base situation is totally liquid. Arizona Phil’s depth chart is just odd in that spot, filled with the Wisdoms and David Botes of the world.
I’m not sure that McGeary isn’t a better option NOW. The shelf life of both players would seem to have expired. If the Cubs can sign you-know-who, I like McGeary to hit after Mervis.
“As always, we await developments.”