Prediction #3: Hayden Wesneski wins ROY
Although it was a small sample at the end of 2022, Hayden Wesneski was filthy to start his big-league career. The movement on his pitches had him looking like a seasoned veteran on the mound, so considering his 2.18 ERA in 33.0 innings (17 frames shy of qualifying for his rookie season) was his first stint in the majors, I'm prone to believe there's plenty more where that came from. A hitter often wins Rookie of the Year, as we've only seen four pitchers between the AL and NL win the coveted award since 2014. However, the movement and command we saw from Mr. Immaculate already have me on the hype train for 2023.
For this to happen, Wesneski will have to find the time on the big-league staff to earn his shot at ROY in the first place. The Cubs' pitching is crowded with bulk relievers, so the first step will be breaking camp with the big-league roster out of Spring Training. As long as he can do that, the playing time will be there, and if he succeeds, he will find himself slotted into an everyday starting role the same way he saw with Justin Steele in 2021. By that point, it will be his heroics down the stretch, with the Cubs having something to play for in late September that will make him a household name.