The Cubs could end up with a wave of homegrown pitching prospects coming to Chicago in 2021.
Kerry Wood debuted for the Cubs in 1998. Carlos Zambrano debuted in 2001. Mark Prior debuted in 2002. If you were a Cubs fan, you couldn’t help but be giddy about the amount of homegrown pitching talent at work in the Cubs rotation and pitching staff in the early days of the millennium.
Fast forward nearly 20 years later and that well has dried up to Saharan levels. It has been well-documented for most of Theo Epstein’s tenure in Chicago, but all that talk and writing hasn’t reversed the truth: the Cubs have not produced very much Major League pitching talent over the past decade. Sure, there were some shrewd trades and free agent signings to bolster and build a great staff over the past six years, but not one major contributor was homegrown.
Despite the dearth of Cubs pitching products of late, that trend may be about to reverse. With several high level prospects knocking on the Wrigley Field doors and a ton of volume down in the lower levels, you’re about to see an explosion of homegrown Cubs pitching talent over the next few years. Some of that will even start this year, as these five guys will be on the Wrigley Field mound in 2021.