For all of major league baseball, 2015 has been the year of the rookie; but no team has benefitted from first year players more than the Chicago Cubs. Just this season, they've called up Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and Kyle Schwarber, all of whom have already become everyday players. Chicago's trio has helped propel them into elite status, and also given them one of the most homegrown teams in baseball.
As of today, their infield from left to right is Bryant, Russell, Starlin Castro, and Anthony Rizzo (while Russell and Rizzo were acquired in trades, they played in Chicago's minor league system). To have a homegrown infield is difficult enough, but thanks to their front office, that's just the beginning for the Cubs. While they'll need Javier Baez, and a few other prospects to develop, Chicago could realistically run out an entire team that came up through their minor leagues.
*Signifies minor league statistics
While the remaining prospects, Baez, Happ, and Mckinney could ultimately fail to become major league players, the Cubs have shown a remarkable talent to draft and develop above average hitters in recent years; and it wouldn't be wise to bet against them at this point. Bryant was one of the most heralded minor leaguers of all time; Russell has been compared to Barry Larkin; Schwarber was drafted just last year, and has already become a frightening sight at the plate.
Theo Epstein and his front office have been at the forefront of ushering in the new wave of MLB talent, and if everything goes according to plan, it doesn't look like they're going to slow down anytime soon. The Cubs are here to stay, and could become the league's newest powerhouse.