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4 Chicago athletes with star quality

June 12, 2012|RedEye

We won't know for few years whether the Cubs made a wise choice in investing $30 million in Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler. We do know the 20-year-old is expected to be an important part of what team President Theo Epstein is building, And the same can be said for these young players on other Chicago teams. Tribune contributed


Age: 22

Most of the Bears excitement this offseason has been sparked by the Brandon Marshall trade, and we get that. In turn, that gives Jeffery a chance to operate under the radar. Well, as much as 6-foot-3, 216-pound receiver can. The Bears just hope he's more like Marshall, a Pro Bowler, and less like bust David Terrell.

See him next: At training camp, which opens to the public July 26


Age: 23

The 23-year-old has capitalized on his teammates' struggles in the late innings. Since taking over as closer, Reed's collected seven saves as of Monday and shows no signs of giving up the role. If the Sox are going to win the AL Central, they'll need him to shut the door in the ninth inning more often than not.

See him next: On TV or at U.S. Cellular Field, numerous times this season


Age: 21

He might be the Bulls' answer to Dirk Nowitzki. Or perhaps the next Toni Kukoc. Either way, the forward is on the rise. He became the prestigious Euroleague's first player to repeat as the Rising Star Trophy winner, an honor that goes to the best player in the league younger than 22. He did it by averaging 12.5 points and 4.5 rebounds.

See him next: Playing for Spain's national team in the London Olympics, if he makes the cut


Age: 21

Fans have caught a few glimpses of the young forward in the NHL already; he played nine games with the Hawks in 2010-11 and three in 2011-12. Morin has only two goals and an assist in that time, but if the winger eventually can do something to boost the team's often-miserable power play, he'll be a valuable commodity.

See him next: At training camp in a few months

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