After Saturday night's 7-0 Cubs win over the White Sox, Alec Mills commented on the Cubs' group of late bloomers stating, "at least we're bloomin'."
This comment is referring to all of the Chicago Cubs newcomers in the post-2016 core era that the Cubs are currently in. That list includes Mills (29), Patrick Wisdom (30), Rafael Ortega (30), Michael Hermosillo (26), Frank Schwindel (29) and the newest Cub Scott Effross (27). Each of the men listed have had major league experience prior to joining the Cubs.
The most notable name on this list is Patrick Wisdom, who is having a strong season. The 30-year-old should be in the Rookie of the Year conversation after hitting his 24th and 25th home runs in Saturday's win. In addition, he's put up these incredible numbers in just 81 games. He is also only one home run away from tying Kris Bryant's team rookie home run record that he set in 2015. Wisdom was a first-round pick of the St.Louis Cardinals in 2012, and has seen Major League time with the Cardinals and Texas Rangers.
Rafael Ortega in a short amount of time as a Cub has had multiple signature moments. Those moments include a three-homer game, walk-off home run, and a grand slam on Saturday against AL Cy Young front runner Lance Lynn. Ortega has spent Major League time with the Rockies, Angels, Marlins, and Braves, but hasn't seen as much success as he has in a Cubs uniform. He is slashing .297/.357/.479 in 2021 with eight home runs.
Alec Mills thus far is most known for throwing a no-hitter in 2020 against the Brewers, but he has had a very successful career so far with the Cubs. Mills has a 4.13 ERA as a starter for the Cubs dating back to 2019. On Saturday night, he faced the first place White Sox fresh off of a 17-run performance and shut them out in 8.1 innings while only allowing four hits. He has been the king of consistency at the back end of the Cubs starting rotation.
The Other Guys
Lastly, adding in guys like Schwindel and Hermosillo and you have an intriguing group of players. Schwindel is putting together a really nice end to the 2021 season with the Cubs after being claimed off of waivers from the Oakland A's. He is slashing .369/.424/.631 in 24 games with the Cubs, and is starting to earn himself a shot at the Cubs first base spot for 2022. Hermosillo is a great story as he grew up a Cubs fan, and is getting a chance to earn himself a spot on the Cubs' 2022 roster. He has already hit two home runs in nine games while playing really well in the outfield.
It is really awesome as a fan to see these guys get another chance at the big leagues. It is easy to see how hard they work, and how great the rest of the players feel watching them succeed. All of these guys are earning themselves their next major league contract, and in a post-fire sale era, this is what has been fun to watch as a fan.