Who is going to be the Cubs’ best player in two years? Hmmm … The fact that it’s a tough question is simply AWESOME.
If you asked a few years ago, the answer might have been Starlin Castro. Maybe Anthony Rizzo. And then both struggled mightily last season.
The answer last year might have been “Who the hell knows?” Then the kids started making some noise. It soon became a racket, loud enough to reach the ears of depressed Cubs fans in Chicago.
Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler and now Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber. They’ve become household names in most Cubs households. At the same time, Castro and Rizzo bounced back with All-Star seasons this year.
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) August 30, 2014
Baez came up and homered in his first MLB game. He followed with six more homers, though he has also struck out more than a high school nerd repeatedly asking out the prom queen.
Bryant has absolutely destroyed the minors — posting perhaps the best line in all of baseball. How about .325/.438/.661 with 43 homers, 110 RBIs and 86 walks against 162 strikeouts? I’ll take it.
And then there’s Soler. Ah Soler. The big issue with him was injuries. He broke his leg last year, battled hamstring injuries the past few years. He looked like he could be something special. He put up great numbers when he played, but he just didn’t play that much. He only had 200 at-bats in the minors this season but definitely made the most of them (.340/.432/.700). Was it enough to judge?
Well, if his debut in the big leagues is any indication, he looks like he could be something really, really, really special. He’s got three homers in five MLB games. C’mon. He had two doubles in his Wrigley debut Monday, the ball hopping off his bat even when he didn’t hit the sweet spot. It’s like he’s playing in a video game while everyone else is mired in reality.
So the question of the Cubs’ best player in two years now becomes a little more interesting. Rizzo or Castro, who have already proven themselves in the big leagues? Baez, whose swing resembles a young Gary Sheffield’s? Bryant, who owned the minors? Soler, who is demanding that he be included in the conversation? Or somebody else, like Schwarber or Albert Almora, or a player that comes over in some crazy trade?
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