There is nothing worse than being a college player, who, after being drafted, gets injured and their pro career is delayed. That has to be brutal mentally. The player has to stop themselves from trying to push too much to get healthy and get back on the field too soon.

When the 2023 season gets here, one of the players I’m going to be looking forward to seeing most is Parker Chavers, who the Cubs took in the seventh round of the 2021 MLB draft out of Coastal Carolina. Chavers was well thought of heading into his final college season but lingering injuries pushed his draft stock down and everybody thought the Cubs got a steal. Here’s what I said on draft day in 2021:

“Interesting pick. He played for a good program and has good bat-to-ball skills, something the Cubs lacked. He was ranked 160 on Pipeline and 176 on BA, so he is probably not a big underslot guy. He hit 15 dingers as a sophomore before Labrum surgery. Prospects Live said he had plus-plus speed.”

Chavers would not play much that first year but he did tear it up at instructs in 2021. He was injured to start 2022. He would make his debut in July in Mesa. He was later promoted to Myrtle Beach and made the August All-Star team here at North Side Bound. I like how he’s sort of under the radar in terms of prospects mainly because of his age. But here’s why I still believe in him and he could take off in 2023.

1. Talent

Injuries have not taken away his talents. They’ve only delayed them from being seen by the majority of fans who follow the Cubs minor league system. Here is what MLB Pipeline said of his talents: 

“Chavers generates at least solid raw power with a quick left-handed swing and the strength in his compact frame, and he’s not swinging for the fences as much as he did in the past. He used to let his stroke get too uphill and pull-oriented, but now he’s making more consistent hard contact.”

2. Versatility

Like fellow injured teammate, Christian Franklin, Chavers can play all three outfield spots and he’s probably going to get a chance to play a lot of left field beginning on day one in Davenport.

3. A New Winter Work Out

Instead of spending most of this winter rehabbing, Chavers can really focus on getting ready to play in the Midwest League. We’ve seen this time and time again over the past few years where a player comes back after missing a lot of time, and it just takes a while to get back in the swing of things. For Chavers, that happened pretty quickly last year at Myrtle Beach. Heading into an off-season healthy has to be such a big boost that he can work on other things to be even better.

4. Bigger, Better, Stronger.

I don’t have many expectations in terms of numbers for Chavers. I just expect him to come in and display his ability to drive the baseball with some more authority this spring than last year at Myrtle Beach. Part of that might be the lack of humidity and no sea breeze in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin to name a few states he’ll be playing as the ball travels a little bit deeper here in the night air.

5. All Around Tools

What I really like about Chavers is that he is not just a guy who can swing a bat. He can hit for power, he can hit her average, he can go get a baseball in the outfield, he has a pretty good arm, and he has speed. He’s not may not be a fully formed five tool prospect, but he could be pretty close if he maxes out his development the next two years.

Looking down the road, the hardest thing Chavers is going to have to face is there are some dudes ahead of him that can play. They may be a little bit younger, but if Chavers produces, that’s going to make any point moot about just exactly what he’s doing with the Cubs. I am really looking forward to watching him play in April and May just to see how many things he can do on a baseball field.