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The Cubs are calling up top first base prospect Matt Mervis

10 months agoAndy Martinez

The Cubs are calling up one of their top prospects.

First base prospect Matt Mervis had his contract selected by the Cubs on Friday and made his big-league debut against the Marlins. In a corresponding move, the Cubs optioned Edwin Ríos to Triple-A Iowa. 

The 25-year-old has been on a meteoric rise over his last two seasons in the minors, slashing .305/.383/.599 with 42 home runs, 146 RBI and a 153 weighted runs created plus in 161 games since April of last year. He was the Cubs’ minor league player of the year in 2022. Mervis is the Cubs’ 8th-ranked prospect, per Lance Brozdowski’s top 30 prospects and 6th per MLB Pipeline.

Mervis was an undrafted free agent signing in the 5-round, 2020 Draft that was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He struggled in his debut season in 2021, hitting .204 with Low-A Myrtle Beach before his breakthrough campaign in 2022.

He opened that season with High-A South Bend before rising through the system, playing at three levels in the minors and ending the year at Triple-A. He was in big-league camp this spring and played with Team Israel at the World Baseball Classic in March.

The Cubs have struggled with production from the first base position, their 85 wRC+ from first base is 24th in baseball, slashing .260/.305/.373 with 5 home runs and 18 RBI. Mervis has picked up where he left off this year, hitting 6 home runs in 112 plate appearances with Iowa and posting a 140 wRC+. With Mervis, the Cubs will use him in a platoon role with Mancini at first base and DH and he will be an everyday player, per David Ross. 

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