The Detroit Tigers Have Top Prospects. Now What?

DETROIT, MI - JULY 14: Dillon Dingler and Riley Greene of the Detroit Tigers look on during summer workouts. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 14: Dillon Dingler and Riley Greene of the Detroit Tigers look on during summer workouts. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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The 2015 Chicago Cubs

Prospects
Chicago Cubs right fielder Kris Bryant congratulates left fielder Kyle Schwarber on his home run. Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports /

Prospects (BA/MLB): Kris Bryant (1/2), Addison Russell (3/5), Jorge Soler (12/22), Kyle Schwarber (19/49), Carl Edwards Jr. (38/47), Billy McKinney (83/NA), Albert Almora Jr. (NA/57)

This collection of prospects was quite celebrated across baseball. They seemed to make an immediate impact, helping the Cubs make a surprise run to the NLCS in 2015, and then winning the World Series in 2016. But what was expected to be a dynasty never materialized. The Cubs traded away some of their impressive prospect depth to make more runs at a title, sending away McKinney, Soler, Dylan Cease, and eventual top-5 prospects Gleyber Torres and Eloy Jiménez in deals to land Aroldis Chapman, Wade Davis, and José Quintana.

Some of the rest of their talent never really developed. Schwarber burst on the scene with impressive displays of power, but never found a position and struggled with consistency, while the glove-first outfielder Almora never developed enough impact with the bat and saw his glove regress. Addison Russell had a few solid years, but he was suspended in 2018 for domestic abuse. The Cubs brought him back for 2019, but then cut ties with him when he was no longer producing on the field. The rail-thin Edwards spent a few years as a valuable middle reliever, but injuries sapped his velocity and command. And Kris Bryant may be the most confounding of them all. He began his career like a future Hall-of-Famer, averaging 6.1 WAR per year in his first three seasons. But he’s added just 6 WAR total over the last three, and there doesn’t seem to be much confidence he’ll ever find his old form again. This crew will always have a World Series title, but Cubs fans can’t help but feel a bit disappointed that a dynasty never materialized

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