In order to win in any sport, a team must get a quality contribution from everyone. It can’t be understated more that part of the Chicago Cubs success was due in large part to the vision of the front office. Much of the public credit nationally has been given to Theo Epstein, who has crushed the two longest curses in MLB history.
Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer is no stranger to winning. The former division-1 standout was in Boston when the “curse of the Bambino” was finally lifted. Hoyer has been around the game for quite some time and has worked alongside Epstein for much of that time.
Hoyer joined the Cubs in 2011 and quickly started to rebuild the organization. As we evaluate the legacy of this team, perhaps Hoyer’s defining trait would be his unwavering belief in Anthony Rizzo.
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Rizzo, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2007, was the prized prospect Hoyer couldn’t be without. Hoyer again reunited with the slugger in 2010 when Hoyer traded for Rizzo to the Padres. Hoyer, serving as GM in San Diego, sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston for Rizzo. When Theo Epstein joined the Cubs, he brought Hoyer in to fill the GM role.
Shortly after coming to the north side, Hoyer shipped young pitching prospect Andrew Cashner to San Diego. Anthony Rizzo was the first brick in the new foundation of this organization.
Trust the process
In order for Jed Hoyer to reap the rewards that a guy like Rizzo has brought to our team, he had to believe in the development and maturity of the prospects he selected.
Anthony Rizzo made his Major League debut on June 9th, 2011. His first taste of the big leagues could have been viewed as a failure. in 49 games, Rizzo only hit one home run in 153 plate appearances.
It was clear that Rizzo wasn’t prepared for the moment quite yet. Jed Hoyer never lost faith or confidence in Rizzo. The Cubs recent draft selections share a common trait.
Cubs scouts are looking for mental makeup in prospects their wish to draft. They want players that can work past adversity and respond. In a matter of two years, Rizzo became a legitimate power threat and an outspoken leader in the clubhouse.
Without the efforts of Hoyer and the relationship with Rizzo that has transcended a decade now, the Cubs fortune may have been different. Theo Epstein may be the face and name that everyone knows. but it’s Jed Hoyer who has been the quiet influence and architect that has aided in bringing a championship to Chicago.