CHICAGO — Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod & Co. have basically sent the deck up as far as draft picks are concerned.
Five of the Cubs seven 1st round draft picks, along with Addison Russell who came in a trade from Oakland in 2014, have become major pieces to the Cubs puzzle. Javier Baez ’11, Albert Almora Jr ’12, Kris Bryant ’13, Kyle Schwarber ’14, and Ian Happ ’15 have all played a key role in the team’s quest to be the first NL pennant winner to go back-to-back since the Cincinnati Reds did it in 1975-76’.
The Cubs are playing their best baseball at the right time and having fun doing it. “We’re having a lot of fun with it that’s for sure,” said Kris Bryant, who’s shown growth in his overall game the last year. He’s hitting .297 with 29 HR and 73 RBI thru 154 games. KB has 18 more walks and 31 less strikeouts than his 2016 MVP campaign. His base running is second to none, his play is steady defensively and it’s a fact that his teammates can count on him to come to the ballpark ready to go.
Addison Russell’s return from the disabled list was the boost that the Cubs needed, especially defensively. There were some worries he might’ve been done for the season with Plantar Fasciitis but he’s back and looking refreshed. He has the knack for the big play as we witnessed in last seasons Championship run and the duo of Russell and Javier Baez up the middle is unmatched.
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