Last year at this time, Micah Hoffpauir and Randy Wells were beginning their sixth year of minor league baseball, while Bobby Scales was beginning his eighth year of minor league baseball.
Today, all three find themselves contributing to a championship contending baseball team.
With Aramis Ramirez out with a dislocated shoulder, 33-year old rookie Bobby Scales is hitting .381 with 1 HR and 5 RBI. On Saturday, Scales scored the game winning run after leading off the bottom of the ninth with a walk.
Whether or not Scales keeps this up is anyone's guess, but for at least one week he's done a better then average job filling in for one of the best third baseman in all of baseball, Aramis Ramirez.
With Carlos Zambrano out with a strained hamstring, the Cubs have given the ball to Randy Wells.
Wells, who was called up last September, has thrown 15 1/3 scoreless innings as a Cub. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Wells is not overpowering. His fastball maxes out around 90 MPH, but he has tremendous movement along with an above average sinker.
With Carols Zambrano due to come off the DL next week, Wells may find himself returning to AAA Iowa. One thing's for sure, the former Belleville East Grad who grew up loving the St Louis Cardinals is living the dream as a member of the Chicago Cubs.
Finally, we have Micah Hoffpauir. Drafted in the 13th round of the 2002 draft, Hoffpauir began to open eyes last spring. Unfortunately, despite hitting the cover of the ball, Hoffpauir was left of last year's Opening Day roster.
With Daryle Ward gone, Hoffpauir had another excellent spring and broke camp with the Cubs. With Derrek Lee and Milton Bradley battling injuries, Hoffpauir has gotten a lot of at bats this season.
The 29-year-old is getting the most of his at bats, hitting .309 with 4 HR and 13 RBI. Hoffpauir is certainly here to stay, and is living the dream after a long run in the minor leagues.