Another Top 100 Prospect list came out this week, this one from Baseball America. Brett Jackson, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez once again show up on the list, as they have done with the previous lists as well. Jackson ranked 32, Rizzo at 47, and Baez came in at 61. According to Baseball America the Cubs have a fourth in the top 100. Matt Szczur not only made the list, but made it easily as he came in at 64. It seems like a lot of publications either love him and are very high on him, or they don’t like him much and are much lower on his potential.
So… who is Matt Szczur and why are some so high on him? The Cubs drafted the 22 year old outfielder in the 5thround of the 2010 draft out of Villanova University where he also starred as a wide receiver on the
football team. Still unknown if he would play baseball or football he signed, receiving a $100,000 signing bonus, with an additional $500,000 if he decided not to attend the NFL combine and make a full commitment to baseball. He played his first pro season at Boise and Peoria in 2010. Due to the success he had in 2010 he decided to stick to baseball and signed a new $1.5 million contract and was added to the 40 man roster. Last year he spent time between Peoria and Daytona. While at Peoria he posted pretty nice numbers .314/.366/.431 while stealing 17 SB. His numbers dipped a bit in his move to Daytona, but had a nice postseason (.368 AVG) helping his team win the Florida State League title.
The Cubs have obviously invested a lot of money into Szczur thus far, but why? According to Baseball America, “he is an exciting high-risk, high-reward talent who should take off with football in his rearview mirror.” From all accounts Szczur is a highly athletic outfielder who will be a threat to steal some bases and hit for some power. He should also be a very good defensive outfielder who can cover a lot of ground. Similar to Brett Jackson he has the potential to be successful in many areas of the game which should enable him to be a solid contributor at the major league level. Hope to see him patrolling the outfield alongside Jackson soon.
Thanks for reading,
– Mark Sorrentino