Kris Bryant: The Next Great Hitter?

Derek Byrd
Kris Bryant of Chicago Cubs

For the longest time, Chicago Cubs fans have wanted Kris Bryant to play on the major league level. As a freshmen in college, Bryant hit .365 with 9 home runs, was a freshmen All-American, was Co-Freshmen of the Year as well as Co-Player of the Year in the West Coast Conference while playing for San Diego. As a sophomore, he was a First Team All-American and was named to the collegiate US National Team after hitting .366 with 14 home runs. His junior season was one to remember. Bryant blasted 31 home runs, an NCAA record. He had more home runs individually than 223 teams within the Division l ranks. He took home the Golden Spikes Award as well as Dick Howser Trophy, both recognizing the best player in college baseball. With all that accomplished, he headed for the MLB Draft.

Bryant, the 2nd overall draft pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, has absolutely crushed minor league pitching since joining the Cubs farm system. There usually is a learning curve for hitters from college to the minors as the adjust from metal to wood bats but Bryant picked up where he left off. In his first minor league season at Class A level, Bryant hit .336 with 9 home runs and 32 rbi’s in just 128 at-bats. Collectively in the minors over three years, Bryant has hit .327 with 55 home runs and 152 runs batted in.

Bryant started the 2015 season at AAA due in large part because of collective bargaining rules that allow the Cubs to keep Bryant one extra year on a minor league contract instead of paying him major league dollars a year earlier. However, Bryant was called up on April 17th, 2015 and after getting off to a bit of a slow start has picked it up of late. He’s hitting .276 with 3 home runs and 19 runs batted in 87 at-bats. He figures to play third base but can play the outfield as well. He recently just missed hitting for the cycle going 3 for 4 with a single, triple, and home run. Even as a rookie, pitchers do fear Bryant having walked him 20 times already. Bryant sports a .417 on base percentage, which is one of the best in the league. There’s no telling how good of a hitter Bryant can be, but what we do know is that he can certainly hit.

from Derek Byrd Derek Byrd’s Blog Post on Cal Ripken Baseball http://ift.tt/1cxiZfy

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