Brennen Davis, one of the top Cubs prospects, was optioned to the Triple-A Iowa earlier this week, but he still has his sights set on making a Major League appearance this upcoming 2023 MLB season, and he made it quite clear he isn’t going to waste time.
“I’m out here to compete and give them a tough choice to make at the end of spring. That’s all I can do. And I know when my time is called, I’m going to be ready — whether that’s now or in a month or two months or whatever. I’m going to do whatever I can to be the best version of myself.”
It’s relieving to see pieces coming together, especially after waiting for what feels like forever. Davis has been a Cubs prospect for the last four years, and always had his name highlighted on scouting sheets as being a top outfielder and having unlimited potential. I like the idea of him being ready in “months”, rather than “years”. Feels like we’re all going to be able to see our top prospects soon, which will be super enjoyable to watch.
Davis was optioned down to AAA this past week, and while the Cubs still have strong belief he will be a major addition to the 40-man roster, he was never really in contention to gain a huge role. If the Cubs have anything, they have a super strong outfield group. Offseason signing Cody Bellinger will step into a starting role, Ian Happ will retain his secure role as a starter, but Seiya Suzuki was the big question mark for the Opening Day lineup. As my colleague Aldo Soto wrote in his article discussing Suzuki’s status for Opening Day, Suzuki will be starting the season on the injured list.
This comes as no surprise as Suzuki was diagnosed with a moderate oblique strain just two weeks ago, sidelining him from the World Baseball Classic (unfortunately, because I really wanted him to show off). With all of this being said, Davis never had a real shot starting on Opening Day, better yet making the roster cut.
The speculation on his MLB debut and his role with the team are eating me alive. Like I said earlier, the outfield is loaded. I didn’t even get a chance to mention guys like Patrick Wisdom and Christopher Morel, who can play both infield and outfield positions. There’s a lot of possibility, but I’m confident David Ross can find a spot for Davis at some point during the season. However, another delay to Davis’s debut will be fellow prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong. Also known as “PCA”, he is considered the Cubs #1 prospect, and we may see his MLB debut this season.
While he and Davis are somewhat on the same trajectory, it seems as though PCA has the edge perception wise following his breakout 2022 season. If that were to be the case and PCA gets the call to the big leagues, where does that leave Davis? In my humble opinion, and just based on what we got to see out of everyone in Spring Training, I have no problem seeing PCA rotate the starting role and Davis coming off the bench this year. Of course there will be injuries and either or both of them could see a considerable amount of playing time, but I don’t think many people see Davis coming up before PCA. You could argue that because Davis is a little older, don’t waste time with him. But it’s only a 2.5 year difference, and I think it’ll better the Cubs all together.
There is a definite excitement on the North Side at the thought of having such fantastic prospects getting set to make their debut this season. Brennen Davis, Pete Crow-Armstrong, and Matt Mervis highlight that list, but we’re going to have to wait to see them in pinstripes. It is exciting to see Davis have the fight in him and the drive to step out onto Wrigley Field this season, and I hope it was a tough choice this spring for the coaches.