Remember the Cubs’ much-ballyhooed “Core Four?’’ Remember how fervent the public devotion was a year ago to Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Javy Baez and Albert Almora, together the franchise’s future?
There’s been some deflation. In terms of sure things, we’re in a holding pattern on “The Fun One.’’
Bryant has had a very good rookie year, playing in the All-Star Game and looking every bit a star for years to come. The other three? It’s fuzzy.
Soler, slowed by injury, is hitting .258 after an excellent late-season call-up in 2014. Baez had a terrible time of it when he was promoted to the majors last season, striking out 95 times in 213 at-bats. But in 37 games at Triple-A Iowa this season, he’s hitting .314, with eight homers and 29 runs batted in. Almora is hitting .243 at Double-A Tennessee.
This is baseball. It’s a crapshoot.
If you want to believe the hype that comes with every high draft pick the Cubs sign, fine. If you want to spend all your free time staring lovingly at the team’s farm system, have at it. If you’d rather watch a general manager do his job than watch a player play, there’s probably an inpatient facility that can address your issues.
But just know that you’re witnessing a roll of the dice. You’ll have a much smoother ride through life with that knowledge in your possession.
It’s still early, and there’s still time. All four players are 23 or under. But aside from Bryant, about the only thing you can say definitively is that you never know. No matter what anyone tells you.