Future average major league shortstop who will likely spend time all around the diamond in the Cubs system
How acquired: MLB Draft 5th round 2018
In a draft class that features the first draftee to make it to the majors, the top prospect in the system, and a pitcher with “some of the highest upside in the system”, you can’t blame Andy Weber for being overshadowed. Don’t sleep on the fifth round pick who put up a .344/.415/.536 line line out of UVA. Weber may be criminally underrated and isn’t featured on MLB Pipeline’s top 30 prospects for the system, but I believe he has major league upside. Weber hasn’t lit the world on fire in the minors (.738 OPS at South Bend) and will be 24 to end the 2021 season. He isn’t a house-hold name yet, but within the next two years fans should be ready for Andy Weber to prove people wrong.
Weber has such a smooth, balanced swing that is geared for hit over power from the left-hand side. His hitting mechanics are quiet and calm. Weber has a contact-stroke and sprays the ball to all fields. With two strikes, Andy will choke up, but he’s still able to barrel the ball with his “B swing”. I think this is an average to above-average hit tool.
It’s below average power now that may one day get to average. He hit 36 doubles in 2019. He doesn’t sellout for power either and as gets stronger, several of those doubles will end up over the fence. Fangraphs puts below average power at 12-15 home runs. I think that is a reasonable expectation with the potential for more within reach.
Weber plays a solid shortstop. His defense is more “Nico Hoerner” than “Javy Baez” at the position. As I watched games, it was so easy to miss his plays at short because he’s not flashy. Weber is seemingly always in a good position. I think he ranges well to both sides, but it’s not an expansive range.
The arm is pretty solid. It’s not a plus arm, but he’s definitely capable of making the plays out there. Every once in awhile, Andy will even break out a spectacular play or two.
Don’t judge the speed based on his steal numbers. He’s an above-average runner, though it’s more when he gets under way. He’ll go first-to-third and leg out a double. Again, a lot of what Weber does isn’t flashy, but he’s very instinctual on the base paths.
Andy Weber probably won’t ever be an all-star, but I think he’s at least a second division regular at shortstop. That brings strong value to an organization which is clearly focusing on strengthening the shortstop position. His offensive approach and defensive versatility presents him with a very good chance of debuting within the next two years and getting regular at-bats. Whether that is with the Cubs or another club will be determined by significant organizational moves in the next 18 months. It isn’t easy to find players capable of playing an average shortstop in the big leagues with a decent bat. Andy Weber reminds me of Tommy Edman of the Cardinals. Though Edman’s 2019 offensive outburst was likely unsustainable, he’s put up a .283/.337/.449 cumulative slash line with an 89.5% contact rate, all while playing SS, 3B, 2B, LF, and RF.
In 2019, 15 qualified shortstops put up a wRC+ of 100 or greater according to Fangraphs. An offensive output at that level coupled with steady defense at SS, 2nd, and 3rd may not sound flashy, but like everything Andy Weber does, it’s solid.
|wRC+||Weighted runs created plus||Attempts to quantify total offensive value and extrapolate the data into total runs. It takes park effects into account. 100 wRC+ is average.||See specific calculation at Fangraphs|