Chicago Cubs: Bryant returns to his high school as Cubs take on Vegas
A Vegas kid at heart, Bryant’s career with the Chicago Cubs hit the jackpot. Now in his third big league season, he returns to his home as an MVP and World Champion.
Who says you can’t go home? It may be hard at times, but the places we grow up shape us into what we are now. For some, we are reaching our 20th reunion (Shout out to MNHHS Class of 1997!!). But others, like Kris Bryant, graduation was just a few years ago.
This weekend, the Chicago Cubs travel to Las Vegas, Bryant’s hometown, in split-squad action against the Cincinnati Reds. And, while some things have changed over the years, the memories for Bryant’s time at Bonanza High School are still fresh. Even as the reigning NL MVP, he remains as humble as he was back home.
It is easy to see why companies want to work with Kris Bryant. Young. Talented. Handsome (so says my wife). Able to hit the long ball. Not flashy. Companies, such as Express Men’s clothing, have worked with the Cubs young third basemen in sponsorships and commercials. Most recently, Red Bull set up a video to prank Bryant with the help of former Cubs pitcher and Hall of Fame member Greg Maddox.
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Red Bull released another video with Bryant as the Cubs travel to Vegas. The video features Bryant walking around Bonanza High School and sharing memories. It is hard to believe that there were difficult moments for the star, but he shared about missing a ball that bounced over his head in his varsity first game. It may not be as bad as being speared by a teacher when you were running the hallway, but I am sure he was embarrassed. Of his time in high school, Bryant shares the following:
"There are so many good memories here for me. I met my wife here, got a scholarship for playing baseball well and doing well in school. I loved high school, loved every minute of it."
Here is the video and article from Red Bull.
This is now…
The path from high school took Bryant from the University of San Diego, top draft pick, time in the minors, to Rookie of the Year and MVP in back to back years. That trend should continue.
Fangraphs.com provides predictions for all players coming into the new season. According to those projections, Bryant should be in the running for another MVP. Most systems believe he will hit 31-39 HR, with 100+ RBI. One trend the Chicago Cubs hope to see continue was the 8% drop in strike out rate for Bryant from 2015 to 2016. Time will tell, and exceptions are high.
Next: Will Albert Almora and Jon Jay make up for the loss of Fowler?
So, thank you, Las Vegas and Bonanza High School, for helping to prepare Kris Bryant for the big leagues. We know you are enjoying watching him as much as we do.