Player: Kris Bryant
Drafted by: Chicago Cubs (No. 2 Overall)
DOB: 1/4/1992 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6’5”/215 lbs
School: San Diego
Previously Drafted: 2010, 18th round (546th overall) by Blue Jays
Although he was a highly regarded prep shortstop who received first-round consideration in 2010, concerns about Bryant’s signability caused him to plummet in the draft and ultimately led to his selection by the Blue Jays in the 18th round. Unsurprisingly, he chose to honor his commitment to the University of San Diego.
Bryant posted a 1.088 OPS with nine home runs in 2011 and was named a freshman All-American. His OPS rose to 1.154 as a sophomore thanks to 14 home runs, as Bryant was named a first-time All-American by Baseball America and earned a spot on the USA collegiate national team.
In his current campaign, Bryant has already shattered the University of San Diego’s single-season home run total with 31 in 62 games, and has personally out-homered a majority of NCAA Division I teams.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Understands how to utilize massive 6’5”, 215-pound frame; wide stance and base; effortless, quiet swing for slugger; consistent toe-tap load; balanced weight transfer through the baseball; has feasted on inferior pitching in a weak college conference; will be forced to improve pitch selection, recognition at the next level; adjustment process will be tested against more advanced stuff; swing has some length and makes him vulnerable to plus velocity on the hands; potential is there to hit for average, but improvements must be made along the way.
Epitome of a power hitter; present plus-plus raw power to all fields; chance to boast elite power at maturity with improvements; loose hands and wrists; quick trigger and reaction time; outstanding bat speed; power should always be there even if average isn’t; showcases impressive barrel control through the strike zone; excellent hip rotation creates extension through the baseball; favorable point of contact off a firm front side; generates backspin carry to all fields; power will translate with wood.
Plate Discipline: 50/55
Has posted gaudy numbers against inferior pitching; absolutely punishes mistakes; present bat speed and strength to handle velocity; contact rate and propensity to swing and miss will likely be challenged at the next level; may struggle against improved secondary offerings as a professional; has a feel for the strike zone relative to his swing and ability.
Moves well for a player of his size; present athleticism; not a base-clogger; could gain half a grade with improved conditioning/training as a professional; will need to avoid getting too strong and bulky; needs to avoid becoming a bat-only prospect too early in his career.
Moves well enough at the hot corner to stay there as a professional, at least initially; able to get low enough to make the plays; will never “wow” with defensive aptitude; actions can be too deliberate and stiff; glove and hands profile favorably as a corner infielder; able to get low to the ground and read the ball; average range; instinctual player but lacks the quick reactions associated with a major league third baseman; has also seen time in right field this spring where his actions, athleticism and long strides could make him a solid-to-average defender at the position.
Plus arm strength is strongest defensive asset; clean arm stroke and release; good carry on throws; above-average accuracy; more than enough for third base and/or right field.
MLB Player Comparison: Troy Glaus (3B); Matt Holliday (OF)
Projection: 30-plus HR potential; occasional All-Star; frequent Silver Slugger award winner.
MLB ETA: 2015
Chances of Signing: 90%
Although Bryant is a Scott Boras client, his mature college bat (in an especially weak draft class) and perceived proximity to the major leagues should result in a lucrative signing bonus as one of the first players selected on June 6.