Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

soler and bryant mbdWith an off-day between a couple dispiriting defeats in New York and the start of a hopeful stretch at Wrigley Field, let’s take our minds off the NLCS for a moment and enjoy the Cubs’ fantastic youth movement.

As we know, Major League Baseball is increasingly becoming a young man’s game and 2015 may be one of the best examples. While some aging stars continue to cement their legacy – Albert Pujols had more home runs (40) than his age (35), for example – the attention has undoubtedly been drawn toward the young guns. The season was not just a good year for younger players, though; there have been some very serious, very sustainable rookie breakouts, as well. In a column for, Jim Callis created a top 25 list of rookies with the most long-term potential and the Cubs fared quite well, placing three in the top ten and four overall:

  1. Carlos Correa, SS, Astros
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs
  3. Byron Buxton, OF, Twins
  4. Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
  5. Addison Russell, SS, Cubs
  6. Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins
  7. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets
  8. Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers
  9. Carlos Rodon, LHP, White Sox
  10. Kyle Schwarber, OF/C, Cubs
  11. Blake Swihart, C, Red Sox
  12. Luis Severino, RHP, Yankees
  13. Lance McCullers, RHP, Astros
  14. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Red Sox
  15. Jorge Soler, OF, Cubs
  16. Michael Conforto, OF, Mets
  17. Aaron Nola, RHP, Phillies
  18. Joe Ross, RHP, Nationals
  19. Daniel Norris, LHP, Tigers
  20. Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies
  21. Greg Bird, 1B, Yankees
  22. Andrew Heaney, LHP, Angels
  23. Raisel Iglesias, RHP, Reds
  24. Ketel Marte, SS, Mariners
  25. Stephen Piscotty, OF/1B, Cardinals

With four players on the list (and in the top 15, no less) the Cubs have landed twice as many as the any other team on the list. And while many of their young players lead the way, there are only two other players from the NL Central – Raisel Iglesias of the Reds and Stephen Piscotty of the Cardinals – and they rank 23rd and 25th on the 25-player list.

I encourage you to check out Callis’ article because it contains writeups on each of the players, with some extremely complimentary notes on the Cubs, in particular. While these lists don’t necessarily change or secure anything, it’s always nice to see the Cubs continue to draw positive reviews. With a foundation this young and exciting, it’s hard not to dream on the upcoming years consistently meeting or surpassing what has already been a magical season in 2015. This is fun, and it could stay that way for a while.

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