Some people are surprised by the pick, I was caught off guard briefly, but the Cubs taking Kris Bryant wasn’t as shocking as it might have seemed on the surface. The Cubs front office didn’t bow to the pressure of Appel/Gray have to go 1-2, they trusted their scouting and had Appel number one, and Bryant number two, and I love the fact that they went with who they wanted, and not who everyone thought should be picked there. With that said, let’s get to know Kris Bryant shall we?
POWER, it’s not easy to find in the draft, and I’m talking big, major league ready power, that’s what Bryant has. Bryant hit thirty-one home runs in just 228 at bats with the University of San Diego this year, yikes. What I like the most about him is his ability to get better, and adjust to things on the fly, which is not easy to do. As a Freshman, Bryant hit nine homers, as a Sophomore he hit fourteen, then came thirty-one this year. He has raw power but his adjustment in his approach at the plate is what led to more home runs. Bryant walked 66 times, and struck out 44 times in 228 at bats, what was the change at the plate? His stance changed, he went with a wider base, and simplified his approach as well, he was able to take pitches and hit them where they were pitched, using the whole field with power. Power is Bryant’s main weapon, but he has other tools as well, one of them is an above-average arm which comes in handy at third base. Some scouts have said that Bryant profiles better as a right fielder as he has shown the ability to play there with that arm, and bat. However the Cubs have been clear that Bryant will play third base for the foreseeable future, that’s the right move in my opinion as that is a glaring hole in the system.
The other thing I like about Bryant is his attitude on and off the field, infectious, and confident, “I obviously think I could play in the big leagues now,” Bryant said. “I have that type of confidence in myself, but, like I said, that’s not my decision. I’ll leave that up to the guys in charge.” I love hearing that out of a player’s mouth, you can’t play this game at a high level unless you believe you can, and Bryant knows he belongs. Jason McLeod also spoke to Bryant’s make up, “It’s how he carries himself on the field, how he deals with adversity, how he prepares, what kind of student athlete he was,” McLeod said of the items they checked on the list. “All the information we gathered made us feel really good about him as a person and a player.”
I’m excited to see Bryant signed and where he might start his Cubs professional career. Usually the thought is to start these picks out at Boise, but given his skill set already don’t be surprised if he joins the prospect laden lineup at Kane County.
Congrats Kris! Welcome to the Cubs.