Feature photo of Cole Roederer by Rich Biesterfeld

Over at the Growing Cubs Podcast, we are rapidly approaching episode number 100. Jimmy and I started recording back in June 2019 thanks to a nudge and endless support from the team at Cubs Insider. Considering the fact that we are near a nice round number and done with our interviews for a while with the season almost here, now seems like a perfect time to look back and reminisce.

In total, we’ve interviewed 14 different Cubs prospects in addition to the 17 other interviews over the past few years. Every single one of the guys we’ve had on the show has been…

1) Kind enough to take time out of their day to video chat with us

2) A great guy to get to know and someone I’ll always root for

3) Simply a normal everyday dude that just happens to be damn good at baseball

So deciding who my five favorite interviews have been is an incredibly difficult task. Ask me again tomorrow and this list probably looks completely different. So at the very least, here are five interviews that are worth an hour of your time!

Jack Patterson | LHP, Episode 14

While I thoroughly enjoyed our first two interviews with Jeff Passantino and Kohl Franklin, it felt like Jimmy and I both really struggled and fumbled our way through our first experiences as interviewers. Our chat with Jack way back in Episode 14 actually felt like we knew what we were doing (to a certain degree). He shared with us an incredible story about how he got to this point in his career, with a wild ride and extended period of time away from the game while in college. And above all else, he is a super nice dude — a trend you’ll see throughout this post.

Cory Abbott | RHP, Episode 30

This felt like a big one for us. While we had already had plenty of talented players on the show prior to Cory, this one felt like the first one that we were no-doubt going to see soon in Chicago. He was coming off his Cubs MiLB Pitcher of the Year award and showcased some humor that reminded me of so many baseball players and coaches I’ve been around in the past. Still to this day, Cory is the only guys we’ve had on the show that’s logged big league innings.

Cole Roederer | OF, Episode 52

We have a ton of entertaining interviews, but there’s no way we can top the fun-loving spirit of Cole Roederer. As all of his teammates will tell you, Cole is an absolute blast to chat with and all the energy he displays on the baseball field came out in the episode. If you are here for a good time, start with The California Kid interview!

Ethan Roberts | RHP, Episode 83

To be completely honest, I’m not sure what parts of our conversation made it into the episode with Ethan Roberts. The episode is 49 minutes long, but we sat back and had a conversation for about 45 minutes AFTER we had stopped recording. He’s gotta be on the Mt. Rushmore of nicest guys in baseball and should be everyone’s favorite player. If you want you kids to follow one guy in the sport, it should be Ethan Roberts.

Max Bain | RHP, Episodes 43, 56, 84

Max is the only player we’ve had on the show more than once. And we’ve had him on THREE times. That should tell you all you need to know about listening to interviews with him. He’s incredibly insightful and always open to talk about anything. Once again, he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve come across (this organization seems to be littered with them) and with Max it’s entirely genuine, both when we’ve hit record and after the fact.