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Can Cubs prospect Matt Marvis be the 'next Anthony Rizzo'?

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Just a week after the Cubs owner uttered words about his now-famous “biblical” loss, college first baseman Matt Marvis made a smart business decision at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. promised to make a decision on

Yankees or Cubs?

Unselected in the pandemic-shortened five-round draft, Duke Sr. finished just short of where he could have been selected in 2020. The Yankees roster and their hefty spending history. Then he looked in the direction of the Cubs roster.

After that, I went on a road with less traffic. And so far it has made all the difference.

“Obviously, I didn’t anticipate the full trading deadline. [selloff] Marvis said on the phone the other day. “But the short answer is yes. I said one or the other.”

Or will the Yankees sign him as a free agent in exchange for the first baseman?

Either way, get your hands on the most prolific hitter in the Cubs organization today.

After hitting two homers, including 33 homers, in Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday, he leads all minor leaguers in home runs and is working toward an organized Triple Crown for the Cubs with a .312 batting average. , 125 games with 11 RBI (.991 OPS).

“I think I made the right decision,” he said.

Marvis, 24, won’t be called up to the big leagues after his Triple-A season ends.

But it’s possible Frank Schwindell, Patrick Wisdom, and Rizzo are planning to fill the big hole at first base that still exists since they were sent to the Yankees in last year’s Cubs Great 2021 roster purge. Anyone with a beware.

Marvis, whose amateur stock has skyrocketed after performing well in the prestigious Cape Cod League over the summer ahead of his senior season at Duke, is headed to the Arizona Fall League in a few weeks and is set to return to Mesa for his first big game. is. League spring training in February.

“We knew he could hit, and we had complete faith in him,” Cubs farm director Jared Banner said. The level he dominated and how quickly he got it done is really impressive. “

Impressive?

208 in 72 games at two levels last year, these are Marvis’ numbers at each level of the system he played this season.

  • High-A South Bend: 100 batting average 35 (.350), 7 homers, 29 RBI, 1.039 OPS, 27 games.
  • Double-A Tennessee: 61-203 (.300, 14 homers, 51 RBI, .966 OPS, 53 games.
  • Triple-A Iowa: 49-162 (.302, 12 homers, 31 RBI, .994 OPS, 45 games.

How did this happen?

As Marvis explains, last year was an anomaly. This is him then and now.

“I don’t see it as a big leap or breakout season from last year to this year,” Marvis said. “The numbers would say it was a breakout, but this is what I knew I could do. I thought

“The timeline was a little strange,” he said.

He broke through so quickly this year that his nickname is gaining popularity almost as fast. Mash Mervis. It was last month that column friend and Indiana Cubs fan Evan Altman began tweeting on Marvis that he showed up at his I-Cubs game in Indianapolis wearing T his shirt. It started with

Marvis said he contacted Altman to purchase it. Alex Cohen, the I-Cubs broadcaster, started using it on his home run call. Obvious Shirts has featured it ever since.

“I think it’s pretty funny,” Marvis said.

But at least it’s appropriate to borrow the old-school tag worn by Louisville’s No. 1 overall NBA Draft, Pervis Ellison.

That’s because Never Nervous Mervis has an obvious level of confidence in his makeup game. Those close to him say intangibles that have been part of his game since at least college.

His agent, Burton Rocks, seems convinced that physical ability is at least as big a factor in Marvis’ jeopardy in his big league debut, and an even bigger factor in the majors after that.

Rocks is clearly as prejudiced against his clients as any other agent.

But the agent also trademarks an algorithm called Quantified Intangible Sheet, which aims to predict success based on behavior. This is what Rocks applied to the executive recruitment process and baseball players.

It can be a little difficult to follow. But he did his TED Talk on that premise.

What is certain is that no one in the Cubs organization has hit like Marvis this season.

And his non-breakout season probably couldn’t have been better timed for a left-handed slugger. A timed claim at the location where Rizzo left.

“He was the face of the franchise. Everyone loved him. You know he’s a big shot in the community,” Marvis said. “So if he gets to that point, obviously he has some big shoes to fill. I think he’s earned it.

“It’s not like you could be the next Anthony Rizzo,” he added. “He won the World Series for the Cubs and has done so for years.

“I want to be the next Anthony Rizzo.”

Cubs officials are almost as buzzed about what Marvis did and what happens next as baseball’s prospective media.

“I try not to think too far ahead,” added Banner. “He puts himself in a strong position just to be on our overall radar. Everyone is talking about Matt Marvis and what he can do. He just keeps getting better and better.” And when you do that, good things happen.”

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