Meet the new captain of the Bomb Squad. His name is Kris Bryant. In case you have been under a rock all summer, the Chicago Cubs’ top prospect has been disgracing the family names of minor league pitchers all summer and he has reached yet another milestone. Bryant’s walk-off homerun against the Las Vegas 51’s (New York Mets’ AAA affiliate) last night was his 40th of the season. The blast was also his fourth in his last ten games.
(stats per MiLB.com)
Kris Bryant’s performance in 2014 has been beyond impressive and has led many to call for his promotion this September. Bryant will, however, remain in the minor leagues, largely, to delay the start of his big league service time but also for a number of performance reasons. As good as Bryant has been he still strikes out more than his fair share of the time, racking up 140 in 122 games this season. Bryant will always be a high strikeout hitter, but the Cubs would like to get his strikeouts down to one per game to avoid the same backlash that Javier Baez has faced since his promotion.
There is also the issue of where he will play defensively. Despite a much-improved showing at AAA, Bryant is fielding .937 at the hot corner on the summer, which won’t cut it at the big league level.
Offensively, Kris Bryant is ready for the major leagues but the rest of this season and the first part of 2015 will be tremendously beneficial in helping him smooth out the other facets of his game.
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