Add Peter Gammons to the list of baseball analysts who believe the Cubs' future is looking bright.
The former ESPN and current MLB Network analyst wrote a post on his website, Gammons Daily, profiling the Cubs' top prospects and how, as a whole, they're creating quite the positive outlook for the North Siders.
Among Gammons' most interesting points, perhaps the most intriguing -- and one that tends to be overlooked at times -- is the continued progress of current Cubs Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. Castro is batting .273 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs in his fifth MLB season, while Rizzo has exploded in his fourth season, putting together a .279/.406/.500 slashline with 13 home runs in 64 games and continued solid defense. Those two players, Gammons writes, "will be players on whom to lean when the farm system moves up and in."
Then there's the prospects. Gammons writes that Bryant "has star written all over him," and that he envisions a middle-of-the-order lineup of Bryant, 2014 first-round Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez and Rizzo. He also notes that the Wrigley Field renovation timing is shaping up quite nicely for the North Siders, as by the time the legal battles are over and the makeover begins the kids will be ready to come up and "they can go out into the market for a Jason Heyward, or some prime free agent."
Gammons also addressed the pitching, noting as others have that the current MLB rotation continues to provide trade assets for the Cubs to use at the deadline. This year's candidates include Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, as well as Jake Arrieta, though Gammons notes it may be wise to see if Samardzija will sign long-term, given the Edwin Jackson failure and the state of the free-agent pitching market. He also says it will be important for the Cubs to figure out whether their top pitching prospects -- Kyle Hendricks, Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, Pierce Johnson and Arodys Vizcaino -- are starters or relievers.