Maybe Matt Shaw Really Can Play 3B

Though it ended up being drowned out online by the kerfuffle caused by legions of the most fragile dudes ever whining about the inclusion of female ballplayers in MLB The Show ’24, Matt Shaw made a big play at third base in Tuesday’s loss. I’m not going to tell you one play in an otherwise meaningless contest is proof positive of anything bigger, but I think writing it off as an aberration would be a mistake.

Perhaps the only real knock on Shaw, the top college shortstop in last year’s draft and the organization’s No. 5 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was that he might not have the arm strength to stick at the position long-term. There’s also the fact that the Cubs have the reigning two-time Gold Glove winner at short for several more years. With second base likewise locked up and the outfield replete with top prospects, Shaw’s only path to the bigs may be the hot corner.

I suppose first base is also an option if things don’t go well on a number of different fronts, especially with Christopher Morel being given plenty of room to prove himself at third over the coming weeks and months. But Craig Counsell said recently that the third base situation remains a long-term play that is “not going to be solved in spring training,” so take that for what it’s worth.

Rather than try to plot anything out or make predictions as to what will end up happening, I want to focus on the idea that Shaw has given no indications that his arm will be an issue. Even without seeing Shaw make a single throw, the fact that Nick Madrigal acquitted himself well there last season is proof positive that you don’t need a cannon. Take a look for yourself and see what you think about the prospect’s ability to play third.

Now we wait for the people who offer earnest criticism about him one-hopping the throw.

Back to top button