Chicago Cubs former prospects thriving at the MLB level

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 19: Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees celebrates his seventh inning grand slam home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the dugout with his teammates at Yankee Stadium on June 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 19: Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees celebrates his seventh inning grand slam home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the dugout with his teammates at Yankee Stadium on June 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Losing these guys may have been necessary at the time, but it still kind of hurts.

I do not think there is any question that the most controversial trade made by Epstein was the Jose Quintana deal. Giving the crosstown White Sox not one, but two top-prospects for a cost-controlled veteran pitcher was a big gamble no matter what on both ends.

After the 2016 World Series, videos surfaced of then-Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez hitting homers off light towers like Roy Hobbs. In addition to that, the scouts and MiLB writers were very impressed by prospect Dylan Cease‘s pitching abilities. Both now are on the White Sox and showing early on why they were hyped up so much.

Jimenez after a slow start has 15 homers in 60 games and slashed .284/.340/.602 in June. It seemed fitting that Jimenez hit the game-winning home run against the Cubs at Wrigley back on June 18th. He is only 22 and will continue to grow into a star. Meanwhile, Cease made his MLB debut last week and went five innings giving up three runs on four hits with six strikeouts and four walks. The stuff looks good, and honestly, the Cubs lack of pitching development makes losing him arguably worse than losing Jimenez.

Here is the thing, if the Cubs got the Quintana that pitched so consistently well with the White Sox and maybe made another World Series, it would feel different. Quintana has a 4.00 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 359 2/3 innings as a Cub. He has had more good starts than bad, but overall he has been average/slightly above average, which is disappointing considering what was given up for him.

Theo needed to make a move in 2017, and honestly, Quintana was pretty big in that run to the NLCS that year. But man, Jimenez and Cease have the potential to be great on the South Side for a long time.

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