Chicago Cubs: 2012 1st round – No.6 overall SP Marcus Stroman
Epstein got introduced as the new President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs in October 2011. It gave him eight months to prepare for his first amateur draft as a member of the Cubs. Chicago, in 2011, had a pretty ordinary outfield.
The same happened the next year as well, putting the Cubs into a sort of panic mode as to what to do. Armed with the number six overall pick in a class headlined by Carlos Correa, Epstein selected an outfielder out of Marion Christian Academy by the name of Albert Almora.
At the time, Chicago had a few exciting outfield prospects in Jorge Soler and Trey Martin. The starting pitching was all over the place, riddled with veterans who could barely manage the mound. Enter Marcus Stroman.
Stroman ended up going 22nd overall to the Toronto Blue Jays. Throughout the first few years of his contract, Stroman pitched incredibly consistently. The right-hander made his debut in 2014, going 11-6, 3.65 ERA in 20 starts. Since then, in 120 starts, Stroman has posted a 3.78 ERA with a 115 ERA+.
Almora did not make his debut until 2016. Since Almora has slashed .274/.311/.397 with a .708 OPS, all well below the average of where he should be and what the Cubs had hoped for. Almora is not a bad player. He just has not produced the stats worthy of a number six overall pick. Imagining a rotation of Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana, and Marcus Stroman is a fun dream to have.