Cubs: What kind of year will Kris Bryant have with the Rockies?

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

This weekend, Cubs fans get their first glimpse of Kris Bryant in his new threads as a member of the Colorado Rockies. Of course, Bryant inked a massive seven-year, $182 million contract with the club in free agency this winter in one of the more puzzling moves of the offseason. 

Whether you agreed with Bryant’s decision or not, the truth is this: unless he says otherwise (thanks to a full no-trade clause), there’s a good chance he’ll spend if not the rest of his career, most of it, calling the Mile High City home. So what should we expect to see from the former NL Rookie of the Year and MVP?

In limited action early this year, the power hasn’t quite been there yet for Bryant, but he still enters Thursday’s series opener against his former team with a .350 average and .391 OBP.  He’s been pretty brutal defensively (at least using OAA metrics) in left field, but let’s be honest: the Rockies didn’t bring him in to win a Gold Glove. They brought him in to anchor the lineup offensively.

Of all the projections out there, ZiPS is the highest on Bryant, projecting a 3.0 WAR season – thanks to a .285/.368/.511 slash across 576 PAs. Nobody seems to think he’ll ever recapture the magic that seemingly propelled his first three years in the league, when he amassed 20.7 WAR and took home a mountain of hardware in the process.

Cubs hoping Kris Bryant finds his power stroke after this weekend series

But if there’s any place he might be able to come close to replicating those numbers, it’s the notoriously hitter-friendly Coors Field. Like I said, he hasn’t found the power stroke just yet – and if you’re the Cubs, you’re probably hoping he waits until you leave Denver before re-discovering it.

Colorado is off to a 4-1 mark (again, another indication of not getting too far ahead of ourselves after a five-game sample), while the Cubs head into the series at 3-2 after splitting a brief two-game set in Pittsburgh.

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Seeing Bryant in a new uniform won’t hit with quite as big of a hammer given we already welcomed him back to the Friendly Confines as a member of the Giants late last summer – but it’ll still take some getting used to all the same. We know how streaky Bryant can be, so let’s hope he doesn’t flip that switch this weekend against Chicago.