The Chicago Cubs’ plans for the future became a little clearer this week when Iowa Cubs’ manager Marty Pevey told Tommy Birch that Javier Baez would be “playing the majority of the time” at second base for the remainder of the season. Baez has already played four games on the other side of second base and has been flawless so far. The implication from this move is that Baez is the second baseman of the future, thus making Kris Bryant the third baseman of the future.
Kris Bryant has sured-up his defense since his promotion to AAA, fielding .950 in 29 games (he was fielded .923 in 62 games at AA). But the real news is that Bryant has 33 home runs, 84 RBI and 11 stolen bases in just 97 games his season. Cubs’ president, Theo Epstein, still maintains that Bryant will stay in Iowa for the remainder of the season but Bryant’s play may just end up forcing a promotion the same way Bryan LaHair and Anthony Rizzo did in 2011 and 2012.
Stats year of call-up:
(stats per baseball-reference.com)
What has been particularly impressive about Bryant is that he has been able to maintain such a high level of success since his transition from AA to AAA, particularly in his slugging percentage, which is only .005 points lower.
It makes sense for Theo and Jed Hoyer want to take it slow with Bryant but all signs say that the kid is ready for the big time and at this point there might not be a better way to say “thank you” to all of the fans who have endured three 90+ loss seasons than to allow them to watch Bryant play at Wrigley Field.
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