Projecting Chicago Cubs' 2015 Opening Day Starting Lineup

Projecting Chicago Cubs' 2015 Opening Day Starting Lineup

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Based on how their season has gone this year, there are several prospects who could be starting at Wrigley Field next season for the Chicago Cubs. Along with the current core the team has, that could make for a relatively potent offense in 2015. A lot will be decided in Spring Training next season, but based on how they've played this season and how their career tracks look, this is what the Cubs' starting lineup will look like next season.

1. CF Arismendy Alcantara

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1. CF Arismendy Alcantara

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Already proving he can produce at the big-league level, Alcantara appears to be here to stay. Even though he got brought up as a second baseman, he seems destined to stick in the outfield. He will likely move to left field eventually, but until Albert Almora arrives, he has the tools to patrol center field.

2. SS Starlin Castro

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2. SS Starlin Castro

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Castro has slid into the middle of the Cubs' lineup this season with his increased power, but as the lineup gets deeper, he will slide back toward the top. He will still hit for some power and be able to provide a hit-and-run threat along with some speed at the top. The big hitters behind him will have plenty of chances to drive him in.

3. 3B Kris Bryant

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3. 3B Kris Bryant

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It's a lot to ask a rookie to bat third in a big-league lineup, but Bryant is more than talented enough. He has a real chance to be one of the great run producers in baseball and he will be doing that in the middle of the Cubs' lineup. With 35 homers and 90 RBIs already this season in the minor leagues, Bryant seems destined for superstardom in the near future.

4. 1B Anthony Rizzo

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4. 1B Anthony Rizzo

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Rizzo is at the top of the National League with 25 home runs, which is already his career-high. Since he's finally hitting his stride, he will split up the lineup perfectly from the cleanup spot. As a lefty power hitter, he will give the lineup more flow as there are several right-handed hitters coming up through the system.

5. 2B Javier Baez

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5. 2B Javier Baez

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Baez is one of the best power hitters in all of minor-league baseball and put that talent on display at the Future's Game where he hit a monster opposite field home run. He's very close to reaching the big leagues and there's no reason he shouldn't be starting on opening day next year. His big bat will provide great protection for Bryant and Rizzo ahead of him.

6. RF Jorge Soler

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6. RF Jorge Soler

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The prospect whose stock has risen the most over the last couple months in the Cubs' system is Soler. He's been absolutely on fire in double-A and triple-A and could even earn a September call-up. As long as he continues to impress during Spring Training next season, Soler is likely to be starting on opening day.

7. LF Ryan Sweeney

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7. LF Ryan Sweeney

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Sweeney is a veteran and another lefty bat who can hold down a spot in the outfield while the younger prospects in the system develop. At the bottom of the lineup, Sweeney provides plenty of upside and an ability to drive in runs. If the Cubs decide to add a veteran bat this offseason, they could take the place of Sweeney in this spot in the lineup.

8. C Welington Castillo

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8. C Welington Castillo

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Castillo is a question mark for the Cubs going forward. He hasn't been consistent enough to convince Cubs brass he's definitely the catcher of the future. That's part of the reason the team traded for Braves catching prospect Victor Caratini at the trade deadline. Next season will be all about Castillo proving he's the long-term solution as the Cubs' backstop.