With Addison Russell the latest Chicago phenom to be called up, what is the city's secret?
They're coming, pooling, amassing in Chicago. Though it's a few names now, soon it will be hundreds, thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands. The area will be over-run with young adults oozing with tools, some not old enough to drink or grow fully-realized facial hair -- kind of like a quick-twitch muscle "Dawn of the Dead."
I'm speaking, of course, about Chicago prospects.
Last season, the White Sox watched Jose Abreu obliterate Major League pitching en route to the AL Rookie of the Year Award.
The Cubs gave Jorge Soler a 24-game audition last year and he's responded with 2 home runs, an .884 OPS, and a throwing arm that can speed through time in 2015.
That wasn't enough for these teams, though. They wanted more, so they reached deep into their talent-filled coffers for Major League-ready players.
On Friday, the Cubs called up Kris Bryant.
Two days later, the South Siders sounded the alarm for Carlos Rodon and his quickly developing mustache:
Acquired last year from the Athletics, Russell has jumped from the 48th-best prospect in baseball before the 2013 season to the 5th-best coming into this year.
Making the move to Triple-A this year doesn't seem to have been a problem for the infielder, either. Coming off a .295/.350/.508 season split between Class-A Advanced and Double-A, Russell was hitting .318/.326/.477 in 44 at-bats to start the year while making his first appearances at second base to hasten his ascent to the big leagues.
And in his final Minor League appearance, Russell naturally broke up a perfect game:
But Russell's call-up foretells a scarier future. It's not hard to see a pattern developing. The CDC warns that at this rate, Chicago teams will possess 85% of the world's baseball prospects by 2045.
But why is this happening? Cut4 Investigative Reports has one theory:
There is some sort of magical amulet buried underneath Chicago's Prospect Gardens Park calling forth to prospects all over the globe, telling them to "COME TO CHICAGO."
Unrealistic, you say? We asked Giorgio Tsoukalos for comment:
Here are the facts we have:
1. It's named Prospects Gardens Park.
2. The Minor Leagues are known as "The Farm." What is a "Farm" if not a "Garden" for, like, animals and rudebega?
3. Just look at the sheer number of game-changing prospects that are being called up! And that's with Javier Baez, Albert Almora, and C.J. Edwards still in the Minors for the Cubs and Tim Anderson still hanging out down there for the ChiSox.
I mean, that alone is more evidence for this theory than "Ancient Aliens." And that gets shown on the History Channel roughly 10 times per day.