Why the Cubs Should Not Call Up 3B Prospect Kris Bryant...Yet

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Why the Cubs Should Not Call Up 3B Prospect Kris Bryant...Yet
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

There has always been a bit of irony in being a Cubs fan.

Although the team hasn't won a World Series since the year that Henry Ford produced the Model T, the Cubs are still the No. 4 most valuable franchise in the MLB. Only the Red Sox, Yankees and Dodgers come in before the Lovable Losers. 

The on-field futility remains this year, as the Cubs are 28-39 and stand in last place in the NL Central. Despite this, there's a bit of excitement looming on the horizon of Cubs fans.

No, it's not the inevitable defeat of the pesky rooftop owners in the corrupt Chicago court of law over their greedy rooftop deal. Well, maybe that does have something to do with it. But as for the team itself, fans are buzzing over the wealth of prospects in the Cubs farm system.

It's all about the future for Cubs fans.

The biggest news of late has been the recent performance of 3B prospect Kris Bryant. Bryant has been tearing up Double-A Tennessee, where he is currently hitting .355 with 22 home runs and 58 RBI. His on-base percentage is a whopping .458.

Bryant was drafted with the second overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft, making this only his second year in the minor leagues. In two seasons combined, Bryant has appeared in only 104 minor league games—not even three-quarters of a major league season.

The 22-year-old's potential left-side counterpart, Javier Baez, is struggling in Triple-A Iowa thus far. In 57 games, Baez is hitting only .223 with 10 home runs. He was drafted in 2011.

Not only is the big-league team struggling, but so is 3B Mike Olt. Despite homering in Saturday's game against the Phillies, Olt is hitting .152 with 10 home runs. Ironically, Olt's only other big-league experience came in 2012 with the Rangers in which he also hit .152.

Between Olt's struggles and Bryant's success, Cubs fans are already pleading for Theo Epstein and company to call up Bryant to ease the struggles in Chicago. 

If anything, the Cubs should simply promote Bryant to Triple-A to pair him alongside Baez on the left side. Perhaps the two pushing each other would bode well for both sides. Desi Wilson, Bryant's hitting coach in Double-A, even feels that a promotion to Triple-A, not the majors, would be the best move for him. 

Just look at what the Cubs did last year with Baez. In 54 games with Double-A Tennessee, Baez hit .294 with 20 home runs. Sure, it's not the video game-like stats that Bryant is currently posting, but his numbers are impressive nonetheless.

Even after his 54 solid games in Double-A, Baez has yet to get the call-up to the majors. Since his time in Double-A, he has played in 57 games in Triple-A as well as spring training and the Arizona Summer League. Baez has played in 36 spring training games; Bryant has only played in 11.

At any rate, the Cubs will not be saved by the promotion of Bryant. Have Cubs fans forgotten about Darwin Barney, who is hitting a dreadful .192 in 49 games? Or the fact that the Cubs are hitting only .232 as a team, good for No. 28 overall?

Sure, Bryant is playing out of his mind now. But there's no guarantee that his success will immediately translate to success at the major league level after only 104 minor league games.

Face it Cubs fans...the future needs to remain the future for the present.

 

All statistics courtesy of MLB.com.

Jason S. Parini can be followed on Twitter: @JasonPariniBR

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