This Cubs' rookie's hype is overflowing as he is projected for the All-Rookie Team

The Cubs already have "the Professor," in their rotation thanks to Kyle Hendricks. However, in 2024, their hopes may hinge on the newly acquired "Throwing Philosopher."

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Shota Imanaga may just be the perfect fit for the Chicago Cubs. 

He’s attended at least one Blackhawks game and took a picture of himself next to Michael Jordan’s statue outside of the stadium. His first statement to the media (and more importantly the fans) was “Hey Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are going to win today.” And finally, he has one of the greatest nicknames in the sport “the Throwing Philosopher,” due to the way that he attacks pitching. 

Insiders agree that he is one to watch as David Adler recently put together a list of 10 pitchers with huge Spring Training hype, and Imanaga’s name was on the list with his Japanese teammate from the World Baseball Classic (Yoshinobu Yamamoto), the first pick in the 2024 MLB Draft (Paul Skenes), a couple of recently traded aces (Corbin Burnes and Chris Sale) and a couple of other interesting storylines.

Adler views Imanaga as “more of a wild card than his fellow NPB ace,” but he also gave reference to Justin Steele who recently had a glowing endorsement of Imanaga’s bullpen. 

If that weren’t enough, Brian Murphy had Imanaga as the Cubs’ only representative on his projected 2024 All-Rookie Team.

In that piece, Murphy made reference to Imanaga’s dominance in the World Baseball Classic, specifically against the US when he was the starter in the championship game that would go on to end with Shohei Ohtani striking out Mike Trout. 

Not many insiders are looking at him and thinking he’s going to overpower hitters in the majors, no offense to Justin Steele. 

However, the expectations are extremely high for this 30-year old lefty to come in and replace what Marcus Stroman was able to provide this rotation for the last several seasons. If he does, the Cubs could very quickly become a formidable opponent for the rest of the National League in 2024.

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