Chicago Cubs: #5: Mark Prior and Kerry Wood
These are the guys Cubs fans always look at and wonder what might have been. Two young stud arms who hit their peaks in 2003 and were then riddled with injuries for the rest of their careers. Mark Prior was coming into his own in 2003 when Kerry Wood was hitting the prime years of his career since joining the league as a 20-year-old in 1998.
This was a fierce duo really only in 2003 due to the fact that they could not stay healthy and on the field together from 2004 and onward. While Wood was able to reform himself into a successful closer, Prior pitched his final big league game in 2006 at only age 25. Still really tough to remember considering how unreal he looked as a 21 and 22-year-old.
But, this still makes the list just because of that ’03 season. The two combined for a 2.81 ERA in 422 1/3 innings and 511 strikeouts in 62 starts that season while both representing the Cubs in the All-Star Game. 266 of those 511 Ks belonged to Wood, who led the National League that year in strikeouts. Prior led the majors in FIP (2.47) that year. Neither man would start 30 or more games ever again.