By Bruce Levine-
(CBS) The future of the Cubs minor league players appears bright but seems of no immediate concern to the present 25-man roster.
Although the main buzz with the Cubs is around prospects such as Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, the mention of that focus is off in a pipe dream for some of the big-league players on this season’s team.
“There are a lot of guys in camp that will probably play in the big leagues a long time,” first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “There are some that aren’t going to make it. That is just the nature of the game.”
Rizzo himself had to fight his way into the big leagues after putting up some huge numbers in the minors.
“It is not easy to get here, but you want to identify as much good talent you can because one of them is going to turn out to be a superstar,” Rizzo said. “Hopefully more than one are great, but that is how you must do it, by stockpiling potential stars that may turn out.”
Cubs fans have been trained to watch the young players advance, especially with more than 280 loses in the last three years.
“Everybody who is an older dude is really excited to watch these young kids play,” right-handed starter Jeff Samardzija said. “Prospects are a shot in the dark. You never know what is going to happen with them, if they get to the big leagues and what they will do when they get there. We need hungry guys that have something to prove.”
None of the Cubs’ young group of position players will make the team’s opening day roster, but progress is evident, according to the veterans.
“They have very talented young players here,” infielder Luis Valbuena said. “They have a chance to watch the big league players here and learn how to work harder and communicate with teammates. Learning how to be a professional and put bad days behind you is big part of it.”
Many of the top-tier prospects from last season’s Class A champion Daytona team will play at Double-A Tennessee this season. After that, a jump to the majors is possible for the elite guys like Bryant.
Bruce Levine is a baseball reporter/analyst for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.