What a summer it has been for former University of San Diego standout Kris Bryant. He had phenomenal freshman and sophomore seasons at USD, which led to being selected second overall by the Chicago Cubs in June’s amateur draft. Bryant was also drafted out of high school in 2010 by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 18th round, but chose the college route instead.
In Bryant’s sophomore season at USD he was selected as a First Team All-American and led his team in seven different statistical categories, RBI’s, home runs, runs, hits, walks, on base percentage, and slugging percentage, he was also second on the team in stolen bases. He played in 57 games, put up at .366 batting average, belted 14 home runs, drove in 57 runs, and posted a .483 on base percentage. Talk about numbers, holy smokes.
Bryant is a 21 year old kid from Las Vegas, Nevada, he stands about 6’4″ tall and weighs in at about 215 pounds. A lot of people have speculated that his height could be a problem at third base, but guess who else is 6’4″ and plays third base, Miguel Cabrera, and oh ya know, he only won the triple crown last year and could be on track to do it again this year. I know what you’re thinking, did he really just compare this 21 year old kid to the great Miguel Cabrera?? Yes, but no, I simply compared their similarities in height, that is all, so lets move on.
Bryant has been referred to as the “complete package” by his coach at USD, Rich Hill, he has also been called a “can’t miss prospect” by others. While nothing is set in stone, an “eventual move to the outfield is possible” according to some sources.
The kid has spent time in the rookie league, however it was very minimal, he has been in Low A Boise and High A Daytona, skipping A ball in Peoria, which I am still a little bitter about seeing as there is an A ball team in my hometown and they just so happen to play Peoria every once in a while.
In 18 games at Boise he posted a .354 batting average to go along with eight doubles, a .416 on base percentage and 16 RBI’s. He was then bumped to Daytona, where he has participated in 14 games and posted a .320 batting average, to go along with that he has four home runs and eleven RBI’s.
When the season in Daytona ends, Bryant, and his 6.7 million dollar signing bonus, will be sent to the Arizona Fall League. Bryant will join other young Cub stars, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, and Albert Almora.
After breaking down some tape on Bryant, he definitely has a lot of talent. He’s extremely tall so that allows for his stance to be wide, which in turn allows him to take a very little stride or even no stride at all. He has very quick hands through the zone, but still needs to work on developing the use of the lower half of his body.
Right now, Bryant is a third basemen, but all of that could change soon as Javier Baez needs a spot on the infield and his current spot, shortstop, is currently taken by Starlin Castro. Bryant could end up in left field and Baez at third, or Baez could jump to second and Bryant at third. I’m sure the Cubs front office will handle the situation when the time comes, but that begs another question. When will the time come?
Some people expect Bryant to be the opening day third basement in 2014, while I’m sure the kid could do it, I don’t think he’d be fully ready, and with a prospect like Bryant, you have to make sure he is fully ready before you make him take the step from the minors to the big leagues. My guess is the Cubs don’t rush him, but we will see Bryant in Chicago sometime next year, it could be in the infield and it could be in the outfield. Who knows.
One thing is for certain, this kid, is the real deal.