Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon And Luis Heredia: Are They The Second Coming Of Kerry Wood, Mark Prior and Carlos Zambrano?

By Jason Shetler

In 1995, the Chicago Cubs selected Kerry Wood with the 4th overall pick in the draft that year. Two years later, they signed Carlos Zambrano out of Venezuela as an amateur free agent. By 2001, Wood had established himself as the ace of the staff, while Zambrano was pitching well in the minors. That year, the Cubs took Mark Prior as the #2 pick in the draft, with some scouts believing that he could be better than Wood. Prior found himself making his Major League debut a year later. A debut that resulted in 10 strikeouts against the Pirates. Wood, Prior and Zambrano were in the rotation full-time together  in 2003. All three pitched over 200 innings, with Wood and Prior striking out well over 200 batters. The success of the trio didn’t last long, as both Wood and Prior were hampered with numerous injuries. With the Pirates having Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and Luis Heredia, are they the second coming of the Cubs trio from a decade ago? There are similarities, besides all of them being right-handers, Taillon and Cole were both Top 5 draft selections like Wood and Prior, while Heredia was signed as an amateur free agent like Zambrano. It’s not too often a team can have three potential ace starters in their rotation, but the Cubs at one point did, and hopefully the Pirates can. But let’s just hope it’ll be more successful. 

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