Baseball

The Next Great Chicago Cub: James Triantos

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Picture this: you’re a high school kid who has the ability to be drafted in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. You have been scouted by multiple big league teams and they all would love to draft you to be their next star. When the day finally comes, you get drafted in the second round by the Chicago Cubs and you sign above your slot money value for $2.1 million and become a key member in the Cubs farm system. This is the reality for James Triantos. The Cubs drafted the high schooler in the second round of the 2021 draft after scouting him thoroughly during the high school baseball season. Now you may be thinking, “why would you take a high schooler so high in the draft? He has not proven anything yet and he’s only 18 years old.” Well, let’s take a look at why the Cubs are so high on Triantos.

Background

Triantos, as mentioned before, is an 18-year-old middle infielder from Virginia who had been highly regarded as one of the best prep baseball players to enter the 2021 draft. Triantos was originally tied to the class of 2022 but reclassified late in the season to enter the 2021 class. That was all the Cubs needed to be able to take Triantos in the second round and Bleacher Nation said that the Cubs tried to “structure their draft” around Triantos. MLB has tabbed Triantos as the number 11 Cubs prospect which explains why Triantos has drawn comparisons to David Wright and Alex Bregman which is pretty good company to be in.

All About Offense

It is no surprise the Cubs’ offense lacks contact hitters. And with baseball struggling with three true outcomes: strikeout, home run, or a walk, there has never been more of a need for contact hitters in baseball than right now. Insert James Triantos. The Cubs immediately sent Triantos to their Arizona Complex League, wherein 109 plate appearances Triantos hit .327 and had a whopping 18 strikeouts in his first professional season. Triantos is said to have great strike zone awareness and rarely swings and misses which speaks to his ability to put the ball in play, something the Cubs need in the worst way.

Defense Wins Championships

Hitting is only one part of baseball and most hitters play defense well. The same will probably be said about Triantos. At 6 foot 1 inch and195 pounds, Triantos came out of the draft as a shortstop with the arm strength to play on the left side of the infield. However, most believe that Triantos will make the transition to either second or third base in order to succeed at the big league level.

Projections

James Triantos is 18 years old and won’t turn 19 until late January. This affords the Cubs some time to allow him to grow and develop into an everyday cornerstone in their lineup. Cubs fans should also consider that there are a few roadblocks in his way up to the big leagues but should things continue to go the way they are going, Triantos could be in the big leagues by 2024.

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main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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