Chicago Cubs: Players to Watch in Spring Training

 Joe Robbins - Getty Images North America

Joe Robbins – Getty Images North America


The outfield is set with Kyle Schwarber in left, Jorge Soler in right and newly acquired free agent Jason Heyward shifting his right-field Gold Glove to center. Chris Coghlan is on board with the ability to step into any of those three slots, or even the infield, as he showed in 2015. Matt Szczur has also proven to be a solid back-up for the starting line-up with a solid bat.

It’s going to be very difficult to unseat any of these guys, but there are three more outfielders with invitation to camp who are going to be showing their stuff. Albert Almora is hoping to put up a strong enough performance in camp to level up to Triple-A Iowa, which could put him in range of the majors late in the season, or early in 2017.

Another minor leaguer to get a look this spring is John Andreoli. He’s got a solid and improving bat, and solid fielding skills. He can fill any of the three outfield slots, but doesn’t really project – presently – as an All-star.  Considering the strength and depth of the Cubs outfield, it is unlikely we’ll see Andreoli until at least 2017.

Juan Perez may be a guy with a serious shot at the roster. He is the former center fielder for the San Francisco Giants, where he put up plus fielding percentages and hit .282/.300/.359 the an OPS of .659 in 2015. There are a number of scenarios where Perez could be a good fit, and he is still a young player who has likely not reached his ceiling. He could be a dark horse coming in for a team that lacks, currently, a natural center fielder.

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