Twenty-three-year-old Chicago Cubs prospect Bryce Ball has been scorching hot in Double-A Tennessee. Ball was the return piece in the Joc Pederson trade with the Braves last season. Listed at 6-6, 240 pounds, the left-handed slugger is playing in his third professional season since being drafted by the Braves out of Dallas Baptist University in 2019. His resume includes impressive power and the ability to take a lot of walks. Last year between the Braves and Cubs systems he was plagued with some strikeouts and a low batting average, but he hopes to turn that around this year. So far, things are looking good for him.
Bryce Ball is off to a great start with the Cubs organization this year
Going into Friday, Ball is hitting .313/.363/.557 with five home runs, a .919 OPS and 143 wRC+ in 29 games. His strikeout rate so far has dipped from 27.6 percent last year to 18.5 percent. He is also walking at a lesser rate, 7.3 percent this year vs. 18.7 percent last year, but he hitting. Last season he hit 13 home runs with a .206/.351/.387 slash in 107 games between the High-A affiliates of both the Braves and Cubs.
This past Thursday alone he had three hits, a home run (an absolute no doubter) and six RBI.
Ball is primarily a first baseman, with some DH sprinkled in. Going into Friday he had played 165 innings at first while playing another 10 games at the DH spot. The Cubs system is not loaded with first baseman, which is all the more reason to hope Ball can keep doing what he is doing. Having another lefty power bat in the system is never a bad thing either.
Want your voice heard? Join the Cubbies Crib team!
Overall in his Minor League career, he is hitting .264/.367/.494 with a .861 OPS, 35 home runs and 115 walks in 826 plate appearances. His low average in 2021 was after the 2020 pandemic season where he did not play, and even so, and yet he still sported a .351 OBP and 13 homers that year. Do not sleep on this kid.