Opening Night against the St. Louis Cardinals just a week away, and Chicago Cubs’ third base prospect Kris Bryant is still with the big league club as the team nears the end of Cactus League play.
Now as we all know, Bryant is expected to start off the year with the Triple-A affiliate, the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines, IA. A business decision that will surely upset both his agent Scott Boras, and a handful of fans who have been expressing their opinions throughout the pre-season.
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So far through Spring Training, the 23-year-old slugger leads the National League in home runs (nine), runs batted in (15) with a huge batting line of .459/.512/1.270.
Today against the Kansas City Royals, Bryant picked up his second start in left field against the American League champions, as most of the starters received the day off with the regular season just around the corner. Hopefully this transition doesn’t blow up in Maddon’s face, but if it does, in fact, pan out, having him available for multiple positions would definitely help out this club, in the long run.
"“I honestly believe it makes a younger hitter, a better hitter. If he’s moving around a lot, and has to work with so many different defensive positions, he doesn’t have to worry so much about his hitting.” Joe Maddon via Carrie Muskat."
The Cubs just recently cut 12 from their roster this past Thursday, including guys like Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora, Chris Valaika, and Mike Baxter – leaving around 40 guys left entering Sunday evening.
While Bryant could be eyeing playing time in both the outfield and infield for the Cubs, both Matt Szczur and Junior Lake have played exceptionally well this spring. Which means plenty of options and line up experiments for Maddon throughout the year.