Cleat Geeks

Kris Bryant’s “Unusual” Patience


So Kris Bryant may not have a home run yet, but he has something very valuable, patience. Bryant is hitting .379 kris-bryant-mlb-san-diego-padres-chicago-cubs-850x560with a .526 on-base percentage and a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 8:8 in his first nine big league games. “Opposing pitchers are going after him pretty hard right now,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “To his credit, he’s not just swinging at everything. He’s taking his walks. If he continues to do that, he’s going to continue to hit at a high pace. “The walk-to-strikeout ratio absolutely is impressive. Normally, these power guys should strike out over 100 times and if they walk even 50 or 60 times, that’d be fabulous. But for right now, he’s just doing a nice job of not biting. They keep trying to expand the strike zone and he’s not doing it.”

Kris is averaging 4.29 pitches per 470103592plate appearance, which would rank fourth in the National League if he had enough plate appearances to qualify. Maddon likes what he sees from Bryant, even if the power hasn’t completely been there in the early going. He does have four doubles. “His patience is unusual,” Maddon said. “Even just talking to him in spring training, he demonstrated a really different level of thinking for what he’s about to do here. He just never seems to be frazzled or anxious about a moment. He seems to have that moment thought out and under control. He wants to be in the present tense. He’s very mindful of really enjoying himself out there and not making it a difficult moment. All those forces combined to help him not want to try to get it down like right now — ‘My at-bat right now, if I take a walk, it’s a good thing; I’ll get them the next at-bat.’ He’s really been good at that. It’s just been one at-bat at a time. The home runs are going to come. Guys like that, when they start hitting them, they start hitting them in clusters.”

Kris Bryant hitting in the middle of the lineup will continue to help set the tone. “I just think he understands the importance of taking pitches,” Maddon also said. “He’s come up also with a lot of guys on base and he’s not succumbed to chasing just to move the baseball. I really like that.” Bryant’s patience is very valuable to the Cubs lineup.


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