Cubs’ Kris Bryant will receive playing time in the outfield
With position players finally reporting to camp, it’s time to see which spring training invitee wants to crack the opening day roster the most.
Most of the attention has been on both Jon Lester and Joe Maddon, but with Kris Bryant‘s big league debut just around the corner – Chicago’s top prospect is going to receive a ton of buzz. As we all know, Bryant’s primary position just so happens to be third base – a position that appears to be up for grabs after the team traded away Luis Valbuena in exchange for outfielder Dexter Fowler.
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I personally had Valbuena penciled in as the teams everyday hot corner man until Bryant was ready to be called up.
Now according to CBS Chicago’s Bruce Levine, not only will Bryant compete for the third base job, he’ll be learning another position as well.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to most considering it has been discussed in the past – it was just a matter of when the transition would begin. Cubs skipper Joe Maddon and other management recently sat down with the 23-year-old superstar about receiving playing time in the outfield.
"“I had my first meeting with Kris today. He was very impressive and very mature for a kid of 23. He understands what he is doing really well. He is accepting of working in the outfield, very excepting of that.” – Maddon via CBS Chicago"
Which should be great news to those who not only play for this team, but follow this team as well. This franchise is stocked with infielders who can not only flash leather but drive runs in as well.
One of those talents is up and coming shortstop Addison Russell.
"“When you do is speak openly about this in the beginning. Then you plan to work with him during spring training. He will probably be less comfortable in the outfield as opposed to third base. You just try to be honest because this might open up more opportunities as you move down the road.” – Maddon via CBS Chicago"
Levine also notes that this will give Bryant something to work on while likely beginning the year with the Triple-A affiliate as an additional 21 days will give the Cubs ‘another year of service-time control’.
It sounds like he’ll be working with former Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez throughout the spring. Bryant will more than likely work both left and right field behind Junior Lake, Jorge Soler, Chris Coghlan, Chris Denorfia and Ryan Sweeney.