Cubs will likely rely on this handful of MLB-ready prospects in 2021
The Cubs have a lot of prospects that still need developing and aren’t quite ready, but they do have three pitchers who will likely contribute for them in 2021 in Justin Steele, Tyson Miller and, of course, Adbert Alzolay.
Steele has had an interesting road to the majors. The former fifth-round pick was once seen as one of the club’s better prospects up until he had Tommy John surgery and had to work his way back. was called up to the majors a few times in 2020 but never found his way into a game. This year, however, it’s likely the left-hander will find himself in the bullpen a few times this year as a depth guy. Steele’s days as a potential starter are likely over, he does present an intriguing lefty option out of the ‘pen.
Miller may have an outside shot of being in the rotation this year. The righty made his MLB debut in 2020, making two appearances, including one start. Miller is similar to Steele in the fact that he’s likely going to be a top depth option for both the bullpen and rotation, and we likely haven’t seen the last of Miller in Chicago.
Alzolay likely has a rotation spot locked up and he’s one of the most intriguing players for the Cubs going into the season. For all of the great things Theo Epstein did for the Chicago Cubs, one thing he never seemed to have was a homegrown starter. Epstein is gone now, but Alzolay still has a great chance to break that trend. The young hurler has flashed serious potential of being a good starter over his first two years in the league and now he’s likely going to get a full season in the majors and hopefully he shows that he can be a building block for the future.
While the Cubs likely won’t be a great team in 2021, and we likely won’t see much of their exciting young prospect pool, there’s a lot of reason for optimism going into the future. There’s a lot of other prospects that weren’t mentioned here who could wind up being contributors for the Cubs down the line such as guys like Cole Roederer, Chris Morel or Burl Carraway. Hopefully the upcoming youth movement for the Cubs brings them as much success as the last core did.