After torching opposing pitching at every level, the Chicago Cubs made the decision to promote Kris Bryant to Triple-A Iowa. After a home run in his debut, Bryant went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts. Last night, Bryant went 2-for-4 with two home run and three RBIs. So, which is more indicative of the Bryant we’ll see over the next few weeks? Both.
Bryant has had no problem moving through the Cubs system in his first full season of professional baseball. With each challenge, the front office has expected to see an adjustment period at the plate, which is part of a player’s development in the minors.
Bryant has been yet to have that. Triple-A Iowa is likely to be his first, and it’s to be expected.
Javier Baez, the Cubs No. 1 prospect, had a similar path through the system. After early struggles at Iowa, Baez is slowly making adjustment and looking more like hitter he had been at the other levels. Although his average sits currently at .222, over the last 30 games he has posted a .273/.303/.518 slash line with six home runs and 27 RBIs. The strikeout number is still high for Baez, but his upside helps to overlook that. What it says is Baez is making adjustments to the pitchers who initially had the advantage on him, which is a sign of a good hitter.
In four games, it’s hard to say a player is struggling, or otherwise. Three homers in four games sounds great, but to 0-for-4’s with six K’s does not. In my opinion, you’re likely to see Bryant struggle for the first couple of weeks. He’s gone from college to a step away from the Show quickly. Now he’s facing pitching that’s not far from Major League quality, or in some cases guys that have been there. There’s going to be a transitional period at the plate.
But to this point, that’s been a short window at each level for Kris Bryant.