Marcus Stroman already making a lasting impact on Cubs prospects
MESA, Ariz — There’s plenty of area around the Cubs complex where fans can catch a glimpse of their favorite ballplayers.
One of those places where they can’t, though, is the Cubs’ bullpen area on the north side of the complex that’s nestled amongst a pair of fields and an infield area used for drills. But, for about 15 minutes on Saturday, a few Cubs prospects turned into fans as they watched one of their favorite pitchers, Marcus Stroman, take his first bullpen session as a Cub.
Among those watching were Cubs prospects Ben Leeper and Aneuris Rosario, who snapped photos of the righty.
Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy took a quick break from seeing the Cubs’ new starter to gaze at all the onlookers, especially Rosario, Leeper and the prospects.
“That’s the best,” Hottovy said. “It’s fun because you’re reminded [of] what this game is about, right?”
The professional youngsters turned into fans, shy to take photos and tell Stroman that he was one of their favorites.
A few of them came up to Hottovy and told them, “he’s my favorite player.”
“Go talk to him,” Hottovy told the youngsters and encouraged them to watch his bullpen.
And Stroman was more than gracious with his time.
In between bullpen sessions and workouts, Stroman has found time to chat with the youngsters and spend time with them, whether that’s picking their brain or snapping a few photos with them for social media.
“I’m just trying to get to learn everybody and I’m just here to help, man,” Stroman said. “Learn [and] educate. I really love whatever knowledge I can help and give them, I’m all for it.”
That respect and admiration from youngsters is reciprocated from Stroman. Especially because these players are young and impressionable and one day could be big leaguers.
“Very humbling, man, it’s crazy,” Stroman said. “To walk into the clubhouse and to feel that kind of energy from the young wave of stars — I mean, these guys are going to be the next hall of famers/All-Stars in the game — so to see them gravitate towards me and tell me I’m their best player … it’s awesome, man.”