Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant is not right for the third base job. While he didn’t have a great year, there’s room for improvement.
The Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant didn’t have a terrific year at third base. Granted, he got injections in the knee, which likely hampered him. And many of them were throws, six of them. He made 13 of 15 at third base, the bulk of it. Needless to say, he tunes the critics out and focuses on getting better.
Bryant had minus-7 runs saved and a 2.24 range. The former was third-worst in the league, and the latter wasn’t in the top10 in the National League. He needs to get better at third, and now the time.
“It’s not like I played amazing defense, but it wasn’t bad either,” Bryant said. “It has room to improve for sure. I’ve been working on it, but it’s not like my defense is the worst ever. It’s very passable. h/t Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune
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Bryant had 10 errors last year in 45 fewer games. And he had only 86 games at third base. In all, he had 17 errors (13 at third) in 2019. While his knee was part of the problem, he isn’t going to blame the majority on that. That’s not the case.
“Most of the errors over there, I didn’t set my feet or didn’t get my arm in the right slot to make a good throw,” Bryant said. “I make an error and I’m saying, ‘How in the heck did that happen?’
He’s a good fielder. He’s proved that. He might be better for the outfield, but that isn’t going to happen. He’s entrenched at third base, and that’s where new skipper David Ross is going to keep him.
Ross is primarily going to go with Bryant at third, with a little ‘shake-up’ from time to time. But know he’s serving his time at third.
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“Those are things I need to fix throughout the season. And it always makes me excited when I know I can fix it. It’s not for lack of skill or lack of focus either. It’s just getting my feet under me and getting in the right slot.”
Ross, Mike Borzello and Bryant will work on it. They need to. He needs a breakout year. And I’ll admit? I see that from him. If when and if that knee is healthy is the key.