Starlin Castro and the Chicago Cubs' Young Talent
With a little over a month left in the 2011 MLB regular season, it is safe to say that the Chicago Cubs are going nowhere. This discombobulated franchise is 17 games under .500 and get this, below the Pirates in the NL Central. Albeit, the Pirates are playing great baseball considering their recent history.
Cubs fans have little to enjoy and look forward to this season. Washed up and overpaid veterans do not appeal to the common fan and trust me, the Cubs have plenty of them. What the Cubs also have, however, is a handful of young and promising talent. Seeing the nifty Tony Campana rake an inside-the-park homer the other day gave Cubs fans a feel-good moment they deserved.
The young Campana is only one of the young players who have emerged into the Cubs system this year. All-Star Starlin Castro leads the way for these rising stars. These two will have big roles in the years to come if the Cubs ever decide to get serious and buckle down.
Now, let's take a look at some more "kids" the Cubs have.
The 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic has already been named an All-Star and has established an unprecedented fear in National League pitchers. He finished last season—his rookie year—batting .300, a stellar achievement. Currently his batting average sits at eighth-best in the National League at .314
To be blunt, Starlin can flat-out rake. Look for him to be a staple in the Cubs lineup for many years to come.
Opposite Castro, Darwin Barney lines up on the right side of the infield at second. His glove work is spectacular and his work at the plate has not been disappointing either. Barney is hitting .298 but has missed quite a few games this year. The second baseman will have big shoes to fill by playing in Ryne Sandberg's former position, but he has still had his fair share of clutch moments.
Barney's small frame does not detract from his RBI and extra-base hit ability. He already has four triples this year. The Cubs can mold him into a better base-stealer which would be pretty darn fun to watch in the future. This 25-year-old has the talent the Cubs truly need.
Inside the Park Homer brings the Wrigley crowd to their feet!
Brett Jackson is arguably the Cubs' best prospect. He is a homegrown player in the Cubs system. He is ranked 38th overall in baseball by Baseball America. The 23-year-old outfielder is considered big league ready by many and is the likely replacement for Marlon Byrd. Here's what a Cubs fan blog, miCubs.com had to say,
"Classic five-tool potential. Offensively, could be looking at a 25-25 guy consistently and has established himself as one of the few hitters in this system that is willing to take a walk."