Initially I believed the Cubs should or would have drafted a pitcher with the number two pick in the draft and I was hopeful Mark Appel would have, again, been passed over by the Houston Astros such as he was in 2012. But to no avail.
Then, instead of drafting Jonathan Gray as believed they would, the Cubs chose Kris Bryant out of San Diego.
Seeing as how much the Cubs will need to offense, Kris Bryant is an excellent addition to the current crop of Cubs prospects that will surely be able to turn things around in Chicago.
And, for Bryant, the journey to the majors might not be as long as the others.
Bryant does not need time to mature or grow into his body. Mark Anderson of BaseballProspectNation.com says Bryant “looks the part of a slugger when he walks off the bus. Physically mature and not much left to do here.”
And his current toolset is prit’ near MLB ready; with an ever-so-sight hiccough.
Kris Bryant is “the best college bat in the class,” according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, “[and] led Team USA this summer in slugging percentage.”
Mayo also goes on to say that “there is a good amount of swing and miss to his game,” which would be the biggest concern regarding this kid.
Mark Anderson says Bryant’s “swing can get a little long”; being the cause to the effect.
But it appears the Cubs have no issue with the slugger’s swing; and little doubt in his current baseball abilities.
Tony Andracki of CSNChicago.com paraphrased Cubs manager, Dale Sveum, as having “joked he checked with Cubs personnel, just to make sure he didn't have to slot Bryant in the lineup this weekend against the Pirates.”
Andracki believes “Bryant’s swing and approach to the plate is so polished, he could move quickly through the system.” Adding Dale Sveum having said “whenever you get the best hitter in the draft, they've hit in the big leagues…It's always hard to tell, but in history, guys like that usually don't take long.”
One area that Cubs outsiders have speculated on is Bryant’s ability to play third base at the Major League level.
In his earlier linked scouting report, Jonathan Mayo said that some believed a move to first for Bryant would be in order. However, with Rizzo manning that position for the foreseeable future a position switch—especially to first—will not happen.
Even so, Dale Sveum addressed that possibility in an interview with baseball writers yesterday afternoon. Via the Andracki article:
“All that stuff takes care of itself. The good thing about [Bryant] is his athleticism, his speed, and his arm allows him to do other things on the field. Right now, just watching him, I don't see any problem at third base, just watching how he takes groundballs and his feet and his arm. It all plays. For a big guy, he can do a lot of good things.”
There you have it. With the second pick in the 2013 draft, the Cubs have added to their embarrassment of infielder riches a high-average-hitting, power third baseman with the ability to rake the yard.
To quote Bart Scott: “Can’t wait”…to see him at Wrigley.