2024 Cubs Season Projections: Mike Tauchman, Pete Crow-Armstrong
Isaiah Downing - USA Today Sports

2024 Cubs Season Projections: Mike Tauchman, Pete Crow-Armstrong

by - Senior Writer -

As we continue to inch closer to the first real game of spring, we are also moving through our season prediction series. Today marks the final position for this team before we get into pitchers as we have reached CF. This has been an ongoing area of conversation all offseason for the Cubs, and it will continue to be that way until the start of the regular season.

With Cody Bellinger still left un-signed 143 days into free agency, it's becoming less likely that he will return to Chicago, creating some uncertainty about what to do in CF. However, should Bellinger elect to sign with the Cubs and, at some point, return to this team, those questions will suddenly have an answer as you will be adding a former MVP to the middle of the lineup who should give you no less than 30 homers and 100 RBIs if he can play at the level he did last season.

Anytime you can add that to your lineup, you will be in great shape, as the Cubs have a gapping hole without him right now. Until he makes his decision, the Cubs are going to play around with what they can do, and it does look like they have a pair of lefties lined up to platoon. One is an aging veteran who was one of the biggest surprises on the team a year ago, while the other is a budding prospect ranked near the top of every prospect list.

Not a bad combo to have for Craig Counsell, as he knows a thing or two about playing prospects and how to handle platoon positions. As long as he can create some balance, this could work for the Cubs, even if the power numbers are not what Bellinger would provide.

Mike Tauchman: When you go back and watch the 2023 Cubs season, you can't help, but to marvel at what Tauchman did. Signed as a free agent after two years playing overseas, Tauchman was one of the final roster cuts after spring and began his season in AAA. After about a month of consistently playing well, Tauchman got an opportunity as Bellinger went down with a knee injury.

That opened the door for Tauchman, who not only ran with it but never returned to the minors again. In what was known as the summer of Tauchman for a while, Tauchman emerged as the team's everyday CF and was the leadoff hitter for the better part of a month. When that happened, you saw this team turn the corner, and they eventually became the team everyone was hoping for. He did cool off toward the end of the season, but that is in the past, as he is ready for 2024.

Prediction: 98 games, .262 average, six homers, 38 RBIs and five steals

At this point, Tauchman would be the opening day CF, but all that could change with one move. Either way, look for him to get plenty of playing time again this season, with some of his game action coming at the corner spots when those guys need a break.

Although he may not be the best hitter, Tauchman, at the very least, proved he was consistent enough to make an impact in the lineup. That is all the Cubs need from him, as consistency pays off just as much as the overall production.

Pete Crow-Armstrong: With Bellinger left un-signed, it creates an opportunity for the Cubs top prospect to prove he is ready to handle MLB pitching this season. After getting a taste at the MLB level last year, PCA went hitless at the plate, but with only 14 at-bats, you can't judge his performance on that.

You can look at his body of work in the minors and hope that translates to the MLB. If it does, you are looking at an elite leadoff man who will hit close to .290 and can swipe 40 bases. Thrown in his elite defense, which is already at Gold Glove-caliber, he has the potential to change the game on both sides. Look for him to take a back seat to begin the season but to see an increase in playing time as the season progresses.

Prediction: 107 games, .267 average, eight homers, 33 RBIs, 22 steals

Like Tauchman, PCA will get an opportunity to prove himself this season and will gain tons of playing time. Although most of his playing time may happen during the second half of the year, look for Craig Counsell to use him as a pinch runner or fielder a lot this year to get him on the field.

His bat will ultimately dictate where he could end up, as the more production the bat gets you, the more playing time he will get. Either way, PCA is going to be a star and will be the face of the franchise before you know it.

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