With the second pick in the 2013 MLB draft the Chicago Cubs selected Kris Bryant, 1B/3B, University of San Diego. Seconds after he was drafted to the Cubs, Bryant became a focal point in the rebuilding process. Bryant showed off his power while in college, and fans hope to see that power one day at Wrigley Field. The Cubs organization have preached patience while they are rebuilding, and they want their prospects to mature in the minors before bringing them to the North Side.
The Cubs seem to be taking this approach with youngster Kris Bryant. Ever since joining the organization in the middle of last season, Bryant has hit the cover off the ball finishing 2013 hitting .336 with 9 home runs in only 36 games. He has continued his fabulous play this year hitting .357 with an incredible .460 on base percentage along with 22 home runs in only 63 games! Currently Bryant is playing for the Cubs AA affiliate, but clearly his performance deserves a promotion.
Many fans would like to see Bryant playing in the big leagues as early as tomorrow, but that is not going to happen. Maybe in another organization or under another general manager, but not with this team. Considering the major league club is not going anywhere this season, the Cubs are in no rush to bring Bryant up to North Side. Instead having a few extra months to develop in the minors before he is called upon to be a difference maker everyday will benefit both Bryant and the Cubs.
However, posting a .460 on base percentage isn’t so much developing as it is dominating. It seems as though Bryant has gotten everything out of the AA system as he can and he needs another challenge to help him develop his skills. Understanding the Cubs hesitance to bring Bryant to the majors so quickly they should at least promote him to AAA. This has been brought up many times over the past few weeks, and many people think that the Cubs will not promote Bryant because Christian Villanueva, another talented prospect, is the starting third baseman at AAA Iowa.
Villanueva has had a superb minor league career and figures to fit into the Cubs plans somehow, but Kris Bryant IS the plan. His development should not be put on hold because Villanueva is playing third base at AAA. Known more for his defensive skills Villanueva is hitting only .228 and has a .290 on base percentage through 56 games. Bryant’s progression, along with other top prospect Javier Baez, should be the Cubs top priority this season. Bryant is widely seen as a top 10 prospect in all of baseball, and although Villanueva is a valuable asset for the team, he isn’t even a top 10 prospect for the Cubs, so why should Bryant’s game be sacrificed for him?
Everywhere Bryant has played in his career he has performed extremely well making the game look easy. During his brief minor league career, Bryant has proven why he is such a highly touted prospect. I completely agree with the Cubs patience in letting their prospects develop in the minor league system. Long term, I feel as though that is the right move. However, they should not be too patient. Bryant should be the everyday third baseman at AAA Iowa with a possible September call up to the majors on the way. His success in the minor leagues shows that he is ready to take on bigger challenges that await him. If their progression stays on track we might be seeing an infield of 3B Kris Bryant, SS Starlin Castro, 2B Javier Baez, and 1B Anthony Rizzo on opening day next year.
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