Projecting the 2014 Chicago Cubs Lineup

Anthony Rizzo

Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

The 2013 Chicago Cubs season is likely going to be a wash but the 2014 season is one that has serious potential. By the time April of 2014 gets here, Cubs fans may again have something to cheer for. Here is what I think the lineup will look like by Opening Day 2014….

Starlin Castro, 3B

Brett Jackson, CF

Anthony Rizzo, 1B

Michael Morse, LF

Jorge Soler, RF

Javier Baez, SS

Darwin Barney, 2B

Wellington Castillo, C

Jeff Samardzija, P

This is a very interesting lineup to say the least so let’s examine piece by piece. I think with Junior Lake and Javier Baez both shortstops in the minor leagues, the move to third seems quite logical for Castro with Josh Vitters have major struggles this year. Maybe Vitters improves in 2013 but I don’t see him as the next Ron Santo. Castro will have early problems at the hot corner but the move is in the best interest for the future. On the other hand, Brett Jackson is a player who could become a solid centerfielder at Wrigley Field. I see Jackson having a Mike Trout-like comeback in his second stint in the major leagues. Jackson is not Trout by a long shot but should be better the second time around. Rizzo is obviously the first baseman and No. 3 hitter for the next 10-15 years.

This is where the lineup gets interesting and with the addition of Morse from Washington. Morse would bring big-time power to Wrigleyville and fits perfectly into the cleanup spot. Jorge Soler has the potential of being a 30-35 homerun hitter and while he had just five in two levels of minor league ball in 2012, the 2013 season should be different with Soler likely to start in Class A and move up to Double-AA by midseason. Soler I believe then makes the jump to start 2014. Baez had 16 homeruns at two levels of Single- A ball in 2012 and should start 2013 in Double-A and will be pushing the major league team by September 2012. Barney and Castillo have their jobs pretty much secure in my opinion with Samardzija starting as the new ace of the staff after Matt Garza is either traded or leaves via free agency. It is definitely something to actually look forward to.

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