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Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant’s doing it right

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The Chicago Cubs have something great with Kris Bryant. Not only is he playing very well on the field, but he is also doing everything that is asked of him by his team and manager. Considering how big of a prospect he is and how much attention surrounded him throughout his minor league career – he could have easily fallen into the trap of believing his own hype and becoming complacent, but that isn’t who Bryant is.

During his spring training games with the Cubs – Bryant wasn’t very patient or selective at the plate. He fanned 14 times in only 40 at-bats, while only walking four times. The home runs and RBI stats were impressive, but it was hard to overlook that he struck out 35% of his plate appearances.

When he was told that he wasn’t going to be on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster and that he’d beginning the year in Iowa, he used it as motivation instead of sulking about the news. It made him hungrier and it made him more determined to make an impact when he did get his call up.

It made him hungrier and it made him more determined to make an impact when he did get his call up.

"“I’ll use this as motivation and fuel the fire. I’ve been told a lot in my life I couldn’t do it. I kind of go back to my high school days when people doubted me. It’s OK to doubt me. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping my head straight and really working hard. Just more motivation for me.” Kris Bryant on not making Opening Day roster – via espn.com Jesse Rogers"

He had the right attitude about that situation in his career – just as he had the right attitude after his first game when he went 0-for-5, “It was fun,” Bryant said. “Sure, I could have done a little better. … I just absorbed everything. It was just a fun moment. All the smells, the sounds, playing in front of 30,000 people — I think that’s the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of — and they’re all cheering for you. It was just a really cool moment for me.” *courtesy of Phil Rogers, mlb.com.

He has the type of approach and attitude that welcomes any challenge that anyone is willing to present to him. Whether it is batting cleanup or playing center field in a pinch late in the game – he does what is asked without asking questions and is happy to do it.

Another part of his game that wasn’t talked about but has already paid off is his base running. He doesn’t have overwhelming speed, but he’s not a slow poke either – but what wasn’t talked about was how smart he is on the bases.

Not only was it shown in his “little league home run”, but also when on third with one out, a slow ground ball was hit and he kept his eye on the shortstop and broke for home and put another run on the board.

Some players, including veterans, may have settled with being on third with still another out left in the inning.

So far, he’s done just about everything right and you can’t ask for anything more out of a young player who is only one week into his professional career. If this first week is only a small clip of what is still yet to come from him, this is going to be a fun year to watch.

Next: Which reliever should replace Brian Schlitter?

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