One glance at the Estimated Time of Arrival column here provides a lens into the Cubs timeline, or at least their next big wave of hitters. It s a promising group, and bah gawd it better be, given the club s firesale focused on these teenage, back-to-the-future lottery tickets. I m not calling them yellow, but we all saw them from the fight in 2021 like Marty McFly after the time jump, and the rewards for doing so look bountiful at the moment. But it s not all about a half-decade from now. To their credit, the club has a middle infield combo ready to roll in the superhero team of Punch and Judy. I m not sure which is Nick Madrigal and which is Nico Hoerner, but I do think the club would be thrilled to get ten total home runs from the pair, which could combine with 3B Patrick Wisdom, 1B Frank Schwindel and C Willson Contreras to create a passable big league infield. Add that to outfielders Ian Happ, Rafael Ortega, Jason Heyward and (eventually) Brennen Davis and the team looks like a rebuilder. Sorry, I meant to say contender there, I think, or something more than rebuilder because you really can squint and see the start of something above the Mendoza line here. It takes a lot of wishful thinking to see much more than that, but they do have an interesting group at the top level, at least on the position-player side, and their minor league system is the deepest of the six I ve ranked so far, so as the team s most famous fan might say, they ve got that going for them.
Frank Schwindel's torrid second half with the Cubs earned him back-to-back NL Rookie of the Month honors.
Matt Duffy rips a ground-ball single to right field and Frank Schwindel scores, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning