Since his arrival into the Chicago Cubs’ organization at the trade deadline in 2012, it’s as if every turn in the script was designed to overshadow Christian Villanueva.
When the Cubs picked up the then 21-year-old third baseman in a trade from the Rangers, it was something of a consolation prize for the infamous Ryan Dempster/Randall Delgado swap that didn’t quite happen. Moreover, the guy who came over with Villanueva—Kyle Hendricks—rapidly ascended the Cubs’ farm system, won some organizational hardware along the way, and was posting quality numbers at the big-league level just two years after the trade.
Oh, and then the Cubs drafted a third baseman with the second overall pick in 2013. His name was Kris Bryant, and, you know, he’s kind of a thing.
Oh, and then the Cubs traded for a high-upside, big-league-ready third baseman named Mike Olt at the Trade Deadline in 2013.
Oh, and then the Cubs traded for a tip-top shortstop prospected named Addison Russell in July 2014, adding him to an infield stable that already included Bryant, Olt, Starlin Castro, and Javier Baez at the upper levels/in the big leagues.
Consider this the third reminder about one of the best defensive third basemen in the minor leagues, whose bat is taking off at Triple-A this season.