There are some good position players fighting for spots on the 2022 Chicago Cubs.
Position Players (14)
The almost 30-year-old Contreras enjoyed a bounceback season, hitting 21 home runs with 57 RBI’s while batting .237 in 128 games. He’ll be the starter heading into the season, but entering the final year of his deal, the question remains: will the Cubs re-sign him or trade him mid-season?
First Base (1)
- Frank Schwindel
After Anthony Rizzo was traded to the Yankees, the first base gig was Frank Schwindel’s to lose. All he did was hit .342 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI’s to go along with a 1.002 OPS in a 56-game tryout.
Second Base (1)
- Nick Madrigal
Part of the Craig Kimbrel deal that sent the closer to the southside, Madrigal gives the Cubs a much-needed contact hitter on a team that has been largely all-or-nothing for quite some time. The 24-year-old hit .305 with two home runs and 21 RBI’s in 54 games with the White Sox before undergoing season-ending hamstring surgery in June.
- Nico Hoerner
If Nico Hoerner can stay healthy, the Cubs will have two excellent contact hitters up in the middle. In 44 games last year, the former 24th overall pick in 2018 hit .302 with 16 RBI’s.
Third Base (1)
Much like Schwindel, Wisdom was given permanent playing time after the Kris Bryant trade. The former Cardinals’ first-round pick took advantage, hitting 28 long balls with 61 RBI’s. He hit just .231 but finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.
- Ian Happ
- Rafael Ortega
- Jason Heyward
After a strong end to the 2020 season, Ian Happ’s strikeouts continued to pile up in 2021. The 27-year-old Pittsburgh, PA native struck out in 29.2% of his at-bats, which is probably who he is at this point. Happ smoked 25 bombs with 66 RBI’s in 148 games while logging a perfect fielding percentage in the outfield.
Inked to a minor league deal before the season, Rafael Ortega played really well in his largest sample size at the Major League level, posting a .291/.360/.463 slash line with 11 home runs and 33 RBI’s in 103 games. He saw the bulk of his starting time in centerfield, logging a .992 fielding percentage.
Jason Heyward will likely ride out the final two years of his contract with the Cubs. He’s under a full no-movement clause, so unless the Cubs approach him to lift the restriction and take on a significant portion of his remaining money, Heyward is probably a lock to see the most time in right field.
- Alfonso Rivas
- David Bote
- Sergio Alcantara
- Michael Hermosillo
- Harold Ramirez
- Yan Gomes
After David Bote landed on the 10-day injured list, the Cubs called up Alfonso Rivas at the end of August. He was pretty much a regular in the lineup through the rest of the season. In an 18-game sample size, the 25-year-old hit .318 with one home run and three RBI’s.
Speaking of Bote, the 28-year-old is under contract for another three seasons with two club options at the tail end as well. He had a difficult 2021, hitting just .199 while his walks dipped to a career-low 8.3% clip. A role player is likely best for Bote at this point, with the ability to play all around the diamond.
Hermosillo showed some pop in the 16 games played with the Cubs last season. He hit just .194 but sent three balls out of the yard while driving in seven.
Needing a veteran backup catcher, Yan Gomes spent last season between the Nationals and Athletics, hitting a combined .301 with 14 home runs and 52 RBI’s. He’ll be an excellent option on days when Contreras needs a breather.