When the Cubs look out west and see what Cuban rookie Yaiel Puig has done after just one week in the big leagues - and after just 63 games in the minors before that - it's hard not to think about recently drafted slugger Kris Bryant and the handful of other potential impact hitters in their system making the same big noise someday.
In fact, the Theo Epstein rebuilding program depends on it, manager Dale Sveum.
"Oh, yeah, those are the guys we're counting on in the organization that we need to come through when you do call them up," Sveum said of Bryant, advanced-A teammates Javy Baez and Jorge Soler and Class A outfielder Albert Almora. "Those are our best prospects - whether it's Baez, Soler, the Almoras - whenever they're ready to get here. We're still talking about a couple years away.
"[But] those are the guys that you have to have hit. Otherwise, you're back to the drawing board."
Soler and Baez made big first impressions at big-league camp in spring training. And both earned Florida State League All-Star selection.
And the heating-up Baez, delivered an eye-popping four-homer game Monday night.
But Sveum said he doesn't anticipate any of those top prospects getting even a late callup in September this year.
"We're not talking about next year or anytime this year," he said. "That's not what we're trying to do. :They're here to develop. ... We're still not getting the huge production at the level [they're at]."