Cleat Geeks

Is Kris Bryant Ready for The Big Leagues?

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Kris Bryant, the number 1 overall prospect in baseball, also the Chicago Cubs third baseman. He looks ready for opening day, but will he be there? Kris hit 43 home runs last season across Class AA and AAA. In 70 games, he posted a .295/.418/.619 line. In that  2014 he received USA TODAY Sports’ Minor League Player of the Year and those afore mentioned 43 home runs were more than anyone in baseball.The 23 year old has picked up where he left off last season, going 7 for 14 with 4 home runs and a double in his first six Cactus League games. The Chicago Cubs traded third baseman, Luis Valbuena for center fielder Dexter Fowler this off season, chi_a_bryant_300x200but they said it wasn’t a move to make room for Bryant. Kris has outstanding stats, but there’s still some room to improve before the big leagues. He did strike out 162 times in 492 at-bats in 2014. The Cubs are still hopeful though and he’s been proving himself. There’s nothing wrong with having a big league ready prospect tearing up the Cactus League. At this point, the team is deciding between having Kris Bryant in their lineup to help from the start of the season or calling him up in late April and having him in the team’s control for the next seven seasons.

Here is the problem, Cubs fans couldn’t care less if it costs the Cubs a few extra million in salary arbitration, or whether it would permit Bryant to depart a year earlier in free agency. They’ve waited long enough. They want to win right now. Meanwhile, the Cubs front office and coaching staff hear the noise, and now are asking everyone to pump their brakes, take a deep breath, and chill.

The Cubs simply believe that Bryant needs more defensive seasoning at Class AAA Iowa. He has also been bothered by shoulder fatigue that has kept him from playing third base since last Thursday, and will sideline him at least until Thursday. This has nothing to do with money or future earnings, Cubs president Theo Epstein says – it’s a genuine baseball decision. In an interview with USA Today Sports Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said, “You never have a second chance to promote somebody the first time. You want to make sure they’re in the right place. In Kris’ case, we know he’s ready offensively, we just want to get him in a good rhythm defensively.”kris-bryant-2013-mug

But on the other hand, let’s make no mistake about it, there are two different issues going on here. To be competitive now, are look toward your future financially. Epstein and the Cubs realize that keeping Bryant in the minors for at least 12 days will assure he won’t have the service time to become eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season. If they keep him in the minors until June, it will save them millions by not granting an extra year of salary arbitration.

I think he’s ready, but I do respect the Cubs’ decision if they don’t put him in the lineup right away.

 

 

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