It was not a banner year for shortstops in the Cubs system, so my selection came down to Andy Weber and Kevin Made. While both presented a compelling argument, I chose Weber in the end. Made’s aggressive promotion to South Bend as a 19-year-old may have cost him the All-Season Team but I believe it will pay off in the long run for his development.
Weber, a fifth round selection out of the University of Virginia in 2018, spent the entire season in Double-A Tennessee. He had a little bad luck and ended up on the injured list two separate times, missing about a month between April and May, then sitting out the end of the season after being placed on the IL again on September 12.
He managed to accumulate 308 plate appearances in 76 games and he produced when he was in the lineup. With a .300/.360/.393 slash, a 7.8% walk rate, and a 24% strikeout rate, Weber posted a 103 wRC+ to make him the only shortstop in the system who produced runs at an above-average rate. The 6-foot-1, 190 pound lefty hitter has a good feel for the strike zone and is able to spray line drives to all fields with a little gap power from his sweet swing.
2 out double by Andy Weber. I love his swing pic.twitter.com/assSYO9VBt
— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB) May 27, 2021
RBI double by Andy Weber scores Morel. Smokies lead 1-0 pic.twitter.com/5t8weTKm9l
— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB) May 12, 2022
Power hasn’t been a part of Weber’s game, as he has 10 career home runs in over 1,100 plate appearances. He might consider taking a page out of Jared Young and Chase Strumpf‘s playbook by sacrificing some of his contact skills for a little more pop. I think he could be a 10-15 home run player with the right adjustments, which would make him a much more interesting prospect.
This next video teases some of the power we could eventually see from Weber.
Andy Weber makes it 8-3. pic.twitter.com/1TE4ILGSmu
— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB) August 21, 2022
Defensively, the 24-year-old has played second and third base in addition to shortstop throughout his career. He profiles best as a second baseman, but is adequate at both third and short and could parlay that versatility into an eventual shot at the majors. The main thing going forward for Weber is to get and stay healthy.
When healthy, he is an above-average hitter and solid defender. He may profile as an organizational depth player at this point, but tapping into some more power to go along with his defensive versatility would give him a better chance to carve out a spot in the bigs.