Matt Mervis is the perfect candidate to replace Anthony Rizzo long term
Rejoice Cubs fans! Anthony Rizzo’s long-awaited replacement is finally here and he looks like he is ready to take the league by storm. Ever since Rizzo left in a trade that saw him go to the evil empire in New York the Cubs have had a revolving door at 1st base and for the first time in years, the Cubs have a clear-cut answer for their 1st base troubles. That answer goes by the name of Matt Mervis.
Who is Matt Mervis?
Matt Mervis is a 6’4″ 225-pound beast who swings from the left side of the plate and throws from the right. Mervis actually has a pretty interesting path to professional baseball. He was originally drafted by the Washington Nationals out of his high school in Maryland in the 39th round(A round that no longer exists under the current MLB draft format) back in 2016. Mervis declined to sign with the Nationals and went on to play his college ball at Duke University.
It was at Duke Where Mervis started garnering serious attention from MLB scouts. Despite getting attention from scouts, Mervis went un-drafted in the 2020 MLB draft and ended up signing with the Cubs as an undrafted free agent. In his first year in professional baseball, Mervis struggled. He hit .208 and seemed to struggle with the jump from college ball to professional ball. Though he was determined to not let one bad season be the end of his career. Mervis carries a chip on his shoulder because he was not drafted.
I don’t want to sound completely like the underdog, but that is how I look at it. I was not drafted and I was not a priority
Matt Mervis Bursts onto the scene in 2022
This year was the year Mervis essentially came out of nowhere and very quickly became one of the Cubs best prospects. Mervis was promoted three times in 2022 and it seemed like wherever the Cubs put him he just kept on going. In total for the year Mervis slashed .309/.379/.606 with 36 home runs and a whopping 119 RBI’s. What’s even more amazing about Mervis’s eye opening season is that his strikeout rate was only at 18.5%. That is unheard of for a power hitter.
His next step this year was playing in the Arizona Fall league. The AFL is where the top prospects in baseball go to hone their skills and put them to the tests against the future of the MLB. Translation, there is no shortage of Extreme talent here. But just like Mervis has done all year, he is performing at an exceptional rate. In just 47 plate appearances Mervis has only struck out 3 times and leads all 1st basemen with 5 homers. He also has an incredible OPS of 1.030. Matt Mervis is the real deal folks and with a strong spring next season he very well could be the Cubs 1st baseman come opening day.
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