Kris Bryant Unhappy At Not Being Called Up


Kris Bryant is the 2014 Chicago Cubs Minor League Player of the Year. He was named USA TODAY Sports Minor League Player of the Year. He was also named Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year. I think you are sensing a pattern here.

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When it’s all said and done, Bryant will probably sweep all the postseason awards this year. He had a monster year, amassing video game numbers. He led the minors in home runs (43) slugging percentage (.661) and OPS (1.098). He was second in runs (118) and fourth in RBI (110). He had a batting average of .325 and a .438 on-base percentage.

Whew, it’s tiring just writing these stats.

Despite having an incredible first full season as a professional baseball player, Kris Bryant was not called up September 1, when the rosters were expanded.

In an interview with ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers, Bryant sounded a bit upset at the snub. “I think now more than ever, I’m realizing this game is a business, and all I can do is go out there and play as hard as I can and make it really hard on the guys in charge. I think I did that this year. If I’m taking that mindset, then I’m not really going to be sitting there with my head down at the end of the year.”

Next year, I’m really looking forward to coming out with a little chip on my shoulder. I’m going to go out there looking to prove something.” -Kris Bryant

Baseball has a service clock that starts when a player is on the 40-man roster. If the Cubs brought him up this season, they would be able to have him under their control until 2020. If they bring him up in mid-April next season, they have him until 2021. Bryant feels those rules were the reason he was not called up.

“It’s kind of funny, all the rules,” said Bryant. “Coming into professional baseball, I had no clue. I didn’t pay any attention to it in college, either. At the end of my first season, I kind of know the lingo about all this stuff. I guess the system works in some ways, and in some ways there are some flaws. I can’t focus on that. I’ve always been high on avoiding the distractions…Next year, I’m really looking forward to coming out with a little chip on my shoulder. I’m going to go out there looking to prove something.”

I understand why people are upset that Bryant was not brought up. People want to see him playing alongside Javier Baez, Jorge Soler and Arismendy Alcantara. As much hope that the Cubs have garnered this season, that hope would have been even greater with Bryant in Chicago. Why bring him up now when there is already hype around him. There will be more come Spring Training.

Again, this is Bryant’s first full professional season. He only has 740 plate

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

appearances. Baez had 1,350 plate appearances in the minor leagues and you see his struggles. Let Bryant end the season on a high note, work in the offseason, then get to it in March.

Also, having Bryant up now would cause a backlog at third base. Mike Olt and Christian Villanueva are trying to show what they can do, and starter Luis Valbuena has been playing well. Having Bryant there would prevent the Cubs from looking at the other players. Yes, Bryant may eventually move to the outfield, but he wouldn’t be playing the outfield this month, and he wouldn’t be sitting on the bench while the other guys played third. There are other players the Cubs need to look at, and having Bryant would prevent them from doing so.

Let’s give Bryant a little bit of time to process everything. Give him some rest. Let him come to Spring Training and make the decision to send him back down an impossible one.