Morry Gash/Associated Press
Key Minor League Cumulative Statistics (2010-13): .285 BA, 17 HR, 140 RBI, 90 stolen bases, .750 OPS, .989 fielding percentage
Positions played: CF, LF, RF (primary in BOLD)
The potential of Matt Szczur could easily be overlooked with the glut of outfield talent currently in the Cubs organization. The likes of Albert Almora and Jorge Soler have received plenty of media attention and are ahead of Szczur in Cubs organizational rankings.
What Szczur brings to the table.
The 24-year-old New Jersey native has all the athletic tools to succeed in the majors. Szczur played both baseball and football at Villanova. He played wide receiver and special teams for the Wildcats and captured the Division I FCS National Championship in 2009.
During his minor league career, Szczur has shown the ability to get on base and hit for average. Szczur put up decent numbers .281 BA/22 SB/.717 OPS during his first full season at Double-A Tennessee. He has also recorded over 100 hits in each of the past three seasons in the minors.
Szczur told Michael McGarry of the Press of Atlantic City he is confident he can continue to develop as a hitter after a strong showing in 2013.
I think I had a good season, but there's always time and room to improve. I can always get better at the plate and have a more consistent approach. I should be able to (drive) guys in, take my walks and get on base.
What is keeping him from the majors?
Szczur has played a majority of his minor league career in center and has posted a low .988 fielding percentage. Szczur will have to improve his fielding skills if he is going to make an impact on the major league level.
With the struggles of Brett Jackson to gain significant traction on the major league level, there could be an opening for Szczur with the Cubs somewhere down the line in 2014. He will have to take advantage of any opportunity he receives as Almora and Soler could be ready in the not so distant future. Szczur is slated to start the 2014 season at the Cubs Triple-A Iowa affiliate, as per McGarry's report.