Chicago Cubs: Five reasons to believe in this team’s playoff chances

3 of 7

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

These kids grow up so fast these days

When the season was in its infancy, Kris Bryant spent the spring knocking baseballs all over Arizona. The Cubs took a lot of heat for not putting him on the Opening Day roster. Whatever the reason, be it contractual or for his defense–most of us have forgotten all about that. We were excited for Bryant, and we still are. But if we would have had any clue of what was to come.

More from Cubbies Crib

Not long after, Addison Russell made his way to Chicago, joining Bryant and Jorge Soler–still a rookie–as an impressive group of young players. They joined Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo as the “25 and under” group leading the Cubs. Things were already looking up at this point, and then came that series when the Cubs needed a Designated Hitter for a few games.

Enter Kyle Schwarber.

The impact that Schwarber has had on the team is immeasurable. The nicknames can’t come fast enough. The Cubs couldn’t deny his value, and even after the return of Miguel Montero they’ve kept him on the roster. Bryant has survived a “slump”, but still is a team leader in RBIs and a Rookie of the Year candidate. Russell displaced a struggling Castro to take the shortstop job, and Soler has the best average (aside from Schwarber) of all these rookies. The Cubs are young, dangerous, and fearless.

Next: No. 3: Pocket Aces