2 prospect busts that hurt the Cubs and 1 that helped them win a World Series

A reminder for the Chicago Cubs that top prospects don't always live up to their potential when they reach the Major Leagues.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
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Tyler Kolek RHP- Whiff

Kolek was the number two overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. He rose as high as the 27th best prospect in baseball in 2015. There was allegedly strong consideration for Kolek at number three that season for the Chicago White Sox which could have left Carlos Rodon who was strongly linked to the Cubs available as the fourth pick. 

Fortunately, the Marlins took Kolek, the White Sox took Rodon and that left Kyle Schwarber available as the Cubs target at four. They would sign Schwarber to an under-slot deal that would allow them to draft three high school pitchers to over-slot deals later in the draft.

One of those pitchers was Dylan Cease who the Cubs would go on to trade to the White Sox in an effort to keep their window of contention open.

Another of those pitchers was the Cubs’ current ace and 2023 Cy Young contender Justin Steele. 

What does it mean?

Baseball is hard. Finding prospects that have all of the necessary skills to be successful is hard. But having those prospects actually put all of that together for prolonged success is the hardest thing of all.

Could the Cubs have a career 30-WAR player in their farm system?


But it might not be who you’d expect.

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