Predicting Chicago Cubs 2015 Opening Day Lineup

Predicting Chicago Cubs' 2015 Opening Day Lineup

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The Cubs are improving in 2014, which should give some hope for the upcoming 2015 season. Even though this season isn't yet half over, the time to look ahead is here because it appears the team could be decent next season. Based on their current roster, contract situations and prospects that figure to find their way to the big leagues, here's a glimpse at what next year's Opening Day lineup might look like.

8. CF Junior Lake

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8. CF Junior Lake

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Lake continues to surprise Cubs brass with his solid play. Now it appears that he may have a long-term job with the team. With several prospects coming up, he will have to earn his keep, but he's a good bet to start in 2015.

7. SS Starlin Castro

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7. SS Starlin Castro

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Castro fits best into the No. 2 hole in the lineup because he's a hitting machine, has shown flashes of power and has decent speed. For those reasons, Castro should be at the top of the order to try to get on base before the team's big bats come up to the plate.

6. 3B Kris Bryant

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6. 3B Kris Bryant

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He hasn't played in a single major league game so far, but Kris Bryant might be the best hitter in the entire Cubs organization. He's tearing the cover off the ball in Double-A and could be in the majors at some point in 2014. With that experience under his belt, he could be the team's top hitter entering 2015.

5. 1B Anthony Rizzo

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5. 1B Anthony Rizzo

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As the team's premier run producer, Rizzo has been hitting in the No. 3 slot for most of his Cubs career. With the addition of Bryant, he could slide down to the clean up spot since Bryant is more of an all-around hitter.

4. 2B Javier Baez

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4. 2B Javier Baez

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Baez started off his season really slowly in Triple-A, but he's started to recover. It remains to be seen if he'll see time in the majors in 2014, but he's clearly ready for the call up. That means Opening Day 2015 is likely the latest that he will make his debut, but it remains to be seen whether he will play shortstop or second base for the Cubs.

3. OF Justin Ruggiano

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3. RF Justin Ruggiano

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Ruggiano has been injured for a good portion of this season, but he's got great power upside. He won't be the Cubs' long-term solution in right field, but he should be a nice place holder as the Cubs wait for Albert Almora and Jorge Soler to be ready for major league call ups.

2. C Welington Castillo

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2. C Welington Castillo

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Castillo is struggling to get on base this season, but as of right now, the club doesn't have any realistic replacement. That's not to say Castillo needs replacing yet, but he will have to improve his approach at the plate if he wants to play for the Cubs when they're competitive.

1. LF Ryan Kalish

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1. LF Ryan Kalish

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Kalish has been a pleasant surprise for the Cubs this season in the games he's gotten playing time. With Schierholtz likely leaving either during this season or in the offseason, a spot in the outfield will open up and Ruggiano will slide to right field with Kalish moving to left.

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