What can we expect from Chicago Cubs youngsters in 2015?

facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 5
Next

Mar 10, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant prior to the game against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kris Bryant – #17 – Third Base

The Messiah. The Chosen One. The One to end the Drought.

There are plenty of ways Cubs fans refer to Kris Bryant, who is ranked as the team’s second-best prospect (scary thought, isn’t it) behind shortstop Addison Russell, but one thing is for sure – he is believed to be the best talent to come out of the Chicago farm system in years – if not ever.

Last season, Bryant dominated pitching at both Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, combining to bat .325/.438/.661 across 138 games, leading all of Minor League Baseball with 43 home runs and 110 runs batted in, not to mention his 34 doubles. After finishing the year strong with the I-Cubs, fans were left clamoring for a September call-up, but Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer opted to allow Bryant to end the year on a high note after earning several Player of the Year awards.

Now the attention turns to the spring, when Bryant may very well look to force the Cubs’ hand on promoting him with a strong showing in Spring Training. Currently, the club has the likes of Luis Valbuena and Mike Olt prepared to man the hot corner, but with the addition of Jon Lester and some big league experience under the belt for Javier Baez and Jorge Soler, Bryant could be another asset for a club hoping to contend.

The biggest issue is, essentially, whether or not the Cubs want to start Bryant’s service time clock early, thus losing a year of team control down the road. With Bryant as a client of Scott Boras, it appears the team will let him start the year at Iowa, then promoting him to Chicago after that threshold is passed. Once that day comes, Steamer projects him to appear in 70 games, racking up around 300 plate appearances. His power is anticipated to translate to the big leagues, as he’s slated to hit 15 home runs and drive in 41 runs, adding 14 doubles to go alone with a .260/.341/.485 slash line.

It appears that next year, it’s a matter of not if, but when, we will see Kris Bryant at the Friendly Confines. At long last, the feared slugging prospect may be ready to leave his mark on the game at the highest level.

Next: Stephen Drew: A waste of time and money for the Cubs