Chicago Cubs: Thoughts on every player on the 40-man roster

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 04: Pitching coach Tommy Hottovy #68 of the Chicago Cubs visits the mound to talk with Kyle Hendricks #28 and Willson Contreras #40 during the fifth inning of a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field on September 04, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 04: Pitching coach Tommy Hottovy #68 of the Chicago Cubs visits the mound to talk with Kyle Hendricks #28 and Willson Contreras #40 during the fifth inning of a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field on September 04, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 24: Frank Schwindel #18 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with Nico Hoerner #2 after scoring in the third inning in game two of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on September 24, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 24: Frank Schwindel #18 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with Nico Hoerner #2 after scoring in the third inning in game two of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on September 24, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The infielders (7):

Sergio Alcantara – 2B/3B/SS

2021 stats: 255 PA, 89 G, 5 HR, .205/.303/.327, 71 wRC+, 0.3 fWAR

2022 FGDC projections: 245 PA, 57 G, 4 HR, .226/.313/.331, 76 wRC+, 0.4 fWAR

Sergio Alcantara is a high-speed, low-power middle infielder whose legs have yet to translate to high stolen base numbers in the big leagues. He draws a lot of walks and is a capable defender at any infield spot he plays at. Last year he was an oft-used backup infielder and he will most likely fill the same role in 2022.

David Bote – 2B/3B

2021 stats: 327 PA, 97 G, 8 HR, .199/.276/.330, 64 wRC+, -0.6 fWAR

2022 FGDC projections: 224 PA, 52 G, 7 HR, .233/.314/.394, 90 wRC+, 0.3 fWAR

In pretty much every day, last season was David Bote‘s worst season. His walks were down and he just couldn’t seem to find his way on base. Bote is another versatile infield option that can realistically play any infield spot or corner outfield position. In November, the 28-year-old underwent shoulder surgery with the anticipation being that he will be sidelined for six months.

Nico Hoerner – 2B/SS/OF

2021 stats: 170 PA, 44 G, 0 HR, .302/.382/.369, 104 wRC+, 0.8 fWAR

2022 FGDC projections: 567 PA, 131 G, 7 HR, .277/.342/.380, 95 wRC+, 2.3 fWAR

24-year old Nico Hoerner is finally in line for his first full season as an everyday member of the Cubs lineup. Hoerner, like Alcantara, doesn’t hit many home runs but possesses excellent speed on the base paths and has a great eye at the plate. While he projects as more of a second baseman, Hoerner is projected to be the Cubs everyday shortstop, at least to begin the upcoming season.

Nick Madrigal – 2B/SS

2021 stats (with White Sox): 215 PA, 54 G, 2 HR, .305/.349/.425, 113 wRC+, 1.3 fWAR

2022 FGDC projections: 560 PA, 130 G, 6 HR, .296/.342/.401, 100 wRC+, 2.2 fWAR

Long story short, Cubs fans should be very, very excited about Nick Madrigal. The centerpiece acquired by the Cubs in the Craig Kimbrel trade, Madrigal possess A++ speed on the basepaths and almost never strikes out. In his minor league career, Madrigal has walked 51 times and struck out just 21 times in over 700 plate appearances. He will likely never hit double-digit home runs but he is a lock for 25+ stolen bases and a .300 batting average.

Alfonso Rivas – 1B/OF

2021 stats: 49 PA, 18 G, 1 HR, .318/.388/.409, 119 wRC+, 0.2 fWAR

2022 FGDC projections: 161 PA, 37 G, 3 HR, .252/.329/.366, 89 wRC+, 0.1 fWAR

Alfonso Rivas does not possess the typical skillset of your average first baseman. He is high-contact left-handed bat that has not hit for much power to this point throughout his professional career. Rivas got his first taste of major league action last season and performed admirably, but he is projected to begin the season at the club’s Triple-A affiliate due to the presence of Frank Schwindel at first and the corner outfield spots being spoken for on the big league roster.

Frank Scwhindel – 1B

2021 stats (between Oakland and Chicago): 259 PA, 64 G, 14 HR, .326/.371/.591, 152 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR

2022 FGDC projections: 553 PA, 128 G, 25 HR, .268/.311/.475, 106 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR

There was arguably no bigger surprise performer last season than Frank Schwindel. Once a relatively popular Royals prospect, Schwindel bounced around from the Royals to the Athletics to the Cubs in recent years, ultimately settling in Chicago. The 29-year old slugger took off with the Cubs last season and rode his crazy-good performance to a sixth-place finish in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, despite playing in just 56 games in the National League. In a lineup full of uncertainty, Frank Schwindel is one of the few guaranteed starters for the Cubs going into 2022.

Patrick Wisdom – CIF/COF

2021 stats: 375 PA, 106 G, 28 HR, .231/.305/.518, 115 wRC+, 2.3 fWAR

2022 FGDC projections: 581 PA, 134 G, 35 HR, .218/.293/.457, 97 wRC+, 1.8 fWAR

Speaking of surprise performers, Patrick Wisdom also seemingly came out of nowhere last season with the Cubs. Where Schwindel has better contact abilities, Wisdom possesses more raw power. Strikeouts were extremely high for Wisdom last season but he was a standout player to watch for a Cubs team that was destined for a long rebuild. Defensively, he is able to fill in at both the corner infield spots and corner outfield. The fourth-place finisher in the NL ROTY, Wisdom has the third base position locked down for the Cubbies in the upcoming season.