The Chicago Cubs' 2020 undrafted free agent signing is considered amongst the best first base prospects in baseball entering the 2023 season.

There is plenty of excitement surrounding both the Chicago Cubs and their farm system entering the 2023 season. After LHP Jordan Wicks checked in on the MLB's top left-handed pitching prospects list, another prospect checked in on the top 10 positional lists. This time, Matt Mervis is considered one of the top first base prospects in baseball entering 2023. 

Mervis comes in at No. 4 on the list. After entering the 2022 season outside the top 30 within the Cubs' organization, he rose up the ranks after an insane 2022 campaign. The left-handed slugger began the season at High-A South Bend, but mashed his way to Triple-A Iowa before the season concluded. 

Although the list doesn't consider Mervis one of the top-tool players on the list, he does have the most humble beginning and was the fastest riser, as we mentioned. Here is what was said by 

"Never mind the 1B list, Mervis wasn’t even ranked among the Cubs’ Top 30 prospects at the end of the 2021 season. The former Blue Devil was signed by the Cubs for $20,000 as a nondrafted free agent in 2020 and then produced just a .676 OPS in 69 Single-A games in his first full season a year later. Then, he exploded for 36 homers (tied for third-most in the Minors) across three levels in 2022 and heads into his age-25 season competing for a spot in Wrigley. Talk about a quick turnaround."

Mervis' ascent was impressive. However, as noted above, mashing 36 home runs will get you noticed. In addition, his 119 RBI across all three levels led all of Minor League Baseball, cementing Mervis' position among the top 1B prospects. As of the latest Top 30 ranking for the Cubs' system, Mervis came in at No. 21. Prior to the start of 2023, he'll likely rank even higher than that. 

Mervis' biggest obstacle for sticking with the big club out of Spring Training is the amount of depth the Cubs added at first base. Although Eric Hosmer and the reported addition of Trey Mancini might not move the needle for everyone, they're both veterans that will garner playing time at the spot. That said, in a perfect world, Mervis makes the team along with those two and learns from the veterans en route to a full-time spot in the lineup come 2024. 

This article first appeared on On Tap Sports Net and was syndicated with permission.

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