Chicago Cubs Dynasty Sleepers, Breakouts, and Busts
Discover sleepers and breakouts from the Chicago Cubs for dynasty fantasy baseball both on the MLB and prospect side.
With dynasty season ramping up, it is time to talk about some sleepers, breakouts, and busts for each team. You can find our rankings and reports to see how we at the Dynasty Dugout value players for your dynasty leagues, but I also feel like it’s helpful to truly identify whether I believe a player can be a breakout or not. Here is where we call our shots on players, I think, require a call to action in dynasty, whether it be to buy or sell that player.
Chicago Cubs Dynasty Sleepers, Breakouts, Busts
MLB Sleeper: Ian Happ, OF
Happ consistently performs year after year and never really seems to get the love he deserves. Last year, he returned $14 of value in 5x5 leagues, according to the Razzball Player Rater, and that number jumped to nearly $19 in OBP formats.
After finishing the 2023 season with 21 home runs and 14 stolen bases, Happ’s .248 batting average was a little low considering the contact quality. The .299 BABIP was well below his .315 career mark, and the fact that he hits so many line drives signifies that he could see the average tick up in 2024.
The plate discipline skills are excellent, and Happ rarely chases out of the zone, leading to one of the better walk rates in baseball. There is potential for Happ to hit 25 home runs, steal ten bases, and post a slash near .260/.370/.450. Happ is an undervalued buy for dynasty leagues, especially in OBP.
MLB Breakout: Seiya Suzuki, OF
Suzuki has posted two solid seasons with the Cubs since signing with them before the 2022 season. 2023 saw Suzuki post very strong numbers, especially in the second half, as he slashed .313/.372/.566 with 13 home runs.
His average exit velocity took a step in the right direction and jumped nearly two ticks to 91.4 mph, and his 90th percentile exit velocity was 106.3, which is firmly plus.
Suzuki is a selective hitter, not chasing often outside of the zone and posting strong zone-contact numbers. His profile is relatively safe, and he barrels the ball up well. While breakout might not be the best term, it is highly possible that Suzuki hits 25 home runs, steals ten bases, and posts a solid batting average and OBP.
MLB Bust: Christopher Morel, UT
Morel is a fun player; there is no denying that. He hits the ball extremely hard and is a great athlete who can steal bases. Between Triple-A and the Majors, Morel smashed 37 home runs and stole ten bases. The .330 average in Triple-A was rather impressive, but he hit just .247 in the majors with a .313 OBP.
Morel may not be an outright bust, but his high chase rate and poor zone contact numbers give me pause. With the acquisition of Michael Busch and several other Cubs top prospects on the way, Morel could easily find himself out of playing time, especially due to the poor defensive value.
The power and speed are intriguing, but the risk factors lead me to place him in the sell category for dynasty.
Prospect Sleeper: Jefferson Rojas, SS
Rojas seems to be a blossoming star in the Cubs system after spending just one game at the complex level before spending the entire season at Single-A Myrtle Beach. Rojas signed for $1 million in January 2022 and immediately hit the ground running as a 17-year-old in the Dominican Summer League, hitting .303/.391/.407 with one home run and 15 stolen bases in 45 games.
Considering Rojas skipped the complex level almost entirely, he still posted the fourth-highest OPS(.790) and wRC+(126) among 18-year-olds in full-season ball. Maybe the seven home runs and .268/.345/.404 slash doesn’t jump off the page, but it is essential to remember that Myrtle Beach, Chicago’s Single-A park, is one of the worst parks for hitters in the minors.
The swing is simple and direct to the ball without sacrificing power. Rojas showcased the ability to hit the ball hard to all fields in my live looks this year and handled all pitch types well. He has grown into more power, largely due to just getting bigger. When he signed, Rojas was listed at 5’8”, but is now listed at 5’10”/150 lb, people connected to Rojas tell me he is actually 5’11”/190 lb now, making him a much more physically imposing player than someone 5’8”/150.
Rojas played a fine shortstop in my looks and has a strong enough arm to stick at the position, especially considering the strong athlete that he is. Rojas has strong contact skills, positing a 77 percent contact rate, and has above-average power projection. If he continues to grow and add more power, his stock will soar. Now is the time to invest in Jefferson Rojas.
Prospect Sleeper: Michael Arias, RHP
Arias is a small but athletic right-handed pitcher with strong stuff. He burst on the scene in 2023, posting a 2.55 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 42 Single-A innings. The results were not quite as good after moving to High-A, posting a 5.77 ERA across 39 innings.
From an arsenal standpoint, Arias has very intriguing stuff, having a fastball that can occasionally reach triple digits, but consistently sitting 97 with nice running action. The changeup tunnels well and devastates both left and right-handed hitters and can get up to 92 mph, but regularly sits in the high-80s. With the slider, it gets a ton of horizontal separation from both the changeup and fastball and honestly feels like it dies in mid-air before diving off while sitting 83-86.
Arias is an arm I would describe as still raw but having immense stuff. He will have to cut the walk rate down after posting a 14.5 percent walk rate and 61 percent strike rate. Those numbers give off reliever vibes, but given his age and stuff, there is still plenty of time for Arias to see his command progress into starter territory.