This 30-part series will look at the projected Top 5 freshman contributors for each big league club for the year ahead. The rankings take into consideration a mixture of ceiling, readiness and potential playing time allocation, which is to say some players with lower ceilings may be ranked ahead of others with higher ceilings because they project to have a greater impact in the coming season.
In a Nutshell:: The club certainly has some holes in the outfield. Question marks also remain at both second and third bases.
1. Kris Bryant, 3B: Incumbent Luis Valbuena will likely open the 2015 season at the hot corner but expect Bryant to take over by the early summer time. The slugging prospect — who turns 23 in January — doesn’t really have anything left to prove in the minors (.325/.438/.661 between AA and AAA) but the Cubs will save some money on him by delaying his arrival in the Majors and it’s not clear yet if the club will even be capable of competing for a playoff spot in 2015. Bryant swings and misses a lot but he’ll most likely be a superstar in the making.