After a torrid August in the Minors, Cubs outfielder Alexander Canario is set to join the team at the MLB level. Reports indicate that the Cubs will call up Canario, a power-hitting prospect that joined the organization after Chicago traded Kris Bryant to the Giants. Here’s a closer look at the 23-year-old.
A Look at Canario
The Cubs acquired OF Alexander Canario and P Caleb Kilian in July of 2021, in the trade that sent former NL MVP Kris Bryant to the Giants. At the time of the trade, Canario showcased some rather tantalizing tools in both 2019 and 2021.
Canario belted 16 home runs over 59 games in short-season ball back in 2019. While he didn’t replicate those numbers in his first run in pro ball two years later, the youngster hit .230/.300/.431 with 18 home runs, 21 stolen bases, and 42 extra base hits over 107 games in A and A+.
Last year, Canario exploded to hit 37 home runs over three levels. That proved to be a real breakout season for Canario, but the 23-year-old couldn’t build on it in 2023 until June after a broken left ankle and a dislocated left shoulder he sustained in the Dominican Summer League last November.
Over 53 games with Iowa (AAA), Canario hit .273/.356/.488 with nine home runs and 25 extra base hits. Most of his damage came in August, when he hit .305 and belted seven bombs for the Iowa Cubs.
Just from watching video, one can see why Canario’s received a fair amount of attention. The 23-year-old can elevate the baseball and a put a pounding on it, but it does come at a cost. Canario’s been quite prone to the strikeout in MiLB career. The 23-year-old struck out 28% of the time this season, and 27.5% a year earlier.
MLB.com indicated in Canario’s scouting report that he’s been known to be aggressive, which makes sense given his high strikeout totals.
What it Means for the Cubs and Fantasy Outlook
When the Cubs originally acquired Canario in 2021, Chicago was in the midst of a massive selloff that saw the likes of Bryant, Javier Baez, and Anthony Rizzo leave the North Side. Fast forward two years later, the Cubs’ rebuild moved much faster than expected and now Canario has a chance to help Chicago make the playoffs for the first time since 2020.
It’ll be interesting to see how much time Canario will see over the final month, given that the Cubs have a relatively strong outfield. Seiya Suzuki has come on strong after a tough stretch in June and July, Mike Tauchman‘s been a revelation, and one can’t talk about the Cubs in 2023 without mentioning Cody Bellinger.
Nonetheless, the addition of Canario gives the Cubs a power-hitting right-handed hitter that could at the very least be a bench bat over the final month. He doesn’t have a clear spot to play regularly, though, which really hampers his value to those who play fantasy baseball.