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kris bryant cubsKris Bryant is having a fantastic three true outcome Spring, with two homers, one walk, and six strikeouts in 10 plate appearances. That’s good for a humorous¬†.222/.300/.889 line. I’m no human calculator, but I’d say over 600 plate appearances, Bryant would hit about 120 homers. That projection seems completely reasonable.

What, think I’m being hyperbolic? Don’t take it from me. Take it from the scouts who’ve watched Bryant recently and are saying glorious things to Jon Heyman:

“He’s a monster with ridiculous power,” one AL scout said.

“All-Star third baseman … soon,” one NL executive said.

“Huge power, Good athlete,” another NL executive said.

“Fifty homer power,” yet another NL executive (like the others not with the Cubs) said.

So, it’s not quite 120-homer power, but dropping a 50-homer label on a guy in the minors? That’s kind of insane. And I love it.

You can read the rest of Heyman’s piece for more drool-inducing praise. Just try to remind yourself that Bryant hasn’t yet played above High-A, and there’s still some learning, adjusting, struggling, and more adjusting ahead for him. Don’t let yourself rise and fall with every at bat.

MLB.com’s Jim Callis agrees with the crazy power labels, by the way, picking Bryant as the minor league home run leader for 2014. A snippet with some future love:

Bryant has everything needed for big-time home-run production. He has size (6-foot-5, 215 pounds), strength, bat speed, loft in his right-handed swing and the patience to wait for pitches he can crush. After winning a Minor League home-run title this year, he should do the same in the Major Leagues in the future.

Callis notes that he selected Bryant over Javier Baez as this year’s minor league home run king in part because he expects the Cubs to call up Baez at some point this year, reducing his minor league homer total. Jonathan Mayo, by the way, picks Baez as the minor league homer champ.

Nice to have both of the prospects that the pundits are choosing among, yes?

  • Porkslap

    Look out Wavela..oh, wait jumbotron…

  • Jon

    50 HR power post steroid era, is pretty freakin cool.

    • Featherstone

      Chris Davis at 3rd Base? Yes, Please.

      • Jon

        Odd Chris Davis question. This was before I posted at BN, otherwise I’d know the answer, but were not the Cubs rumored to be possibly trading for Davis a few years ago?

        • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

          Yes but I don’t think it got Peavy/Roberts close.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Yes, that was definitely a rumor. Could be misremembering, but I think Hendry was a fan.

        • college_of_coaches

          I remember the rumor. I went poking around the interwebs and I found this:

          http://www.bleachernation.com/2010/12/07/that-chris-davis-trade-is-still-percolating-with-additional-players/

          • Jon

            Thanks!

            Looks like Hendry got greedy.

          • D-Rock

            Wow, sounds like they were pretty close to a deal getting done. Didn’t realize it was so close. Baez, Bryant, Davis would have been a scary middle of the order. Each capable of 40+ bombs. Oh well, Rizzo’s no slouch.

            • ssckelley

              Don’t want, we got Rizzo at first base.

              Remember, this is why the Cubs could not go after Jose Abreu.

              • Jon

                Chris Davis is much better than Anthony Rizzo.

                You could argue those the butterfly effect in which Davis makes the Cubs better in 2012 and they don’t get Kris Bryant.

                • ssckelley

                  Don’t do that shit to me again, I’ve already said I was wrong about Trout.

                  Damn you! Quit hiding the beanbag!

  • Danny Ballgame

    Can’t wait to have some real power bats in the lineup.

    • Darth Ivy

      Cool name

  • bsblldrm

    I can’t wait. This is gonna be legendary

    • JB88

      Fixed.

      “This is going to be legend … wait for it …”

      • bsblldrm

        DARY!

      • bsblldrm

        I was gonna do that but I didn’t know if anyone would get it ahah

        • JB88

          My “wait for it” was meant to be a pun, since they are all still in the minors. :)

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I can see those two guys pushing each other in a spirited competition that could result in insane amounts of homers. The Mantle/Maris days returned.

  • David

    Stick Rizzo’s lefthanded bat between them???

    3) Bryant
    4) Rizzo
    5) Baez

    That would be my preference.

    • Noah_I

      Depends on who the best power hitter of the bunch is. Whoever that is should bat 4th. If Baez and Bryant post comparable power, best overall hitter should bat second, the other fourth under the lineup construction generally viewed in the analytics community as the most productive in terms of scoring runs. So I’d just shift all three of those guys up one spot in the lineup, and potentially flip Baez and Bryant.

      • Darth Ivy

        They all seem like typical #4s. Can’t all three bat clean up?

      • David

        Ahhhhg. I’m still a fan of having your best hitter 3rd. It’d be swell when we get 2 high OBP guys ahead of these 3. Alcantara and Almora??? Rizzo will see a $hitload of fastballs in this lineup!

        • Edwin

          There’s not much difference, but the idea is that having the “best” hitter bat 2nd is the best way to maximise the amount of AB they get while still having a position player batting in front of them to get on base so whoever bats 2nd can drive him in.

          Same type of idea applies for who to bat 4th. Generally speaking, although the batter who bats 4th gets slightly fewer AB over the course of a season than the 3 spot, they generally get more chances to hit with runners on base.

          If the hitters are pretty close though, I’d rather the Cubs split them up in regards to R vs L as much as possible, so that an opposing team can’t always bring in a LOOGY or ROOGY for 2-3 batters at a time.

          • Danny Ballgame

            I’m more excited to see if all three can reach anything close to their ceilings. If so, we could be in for quite a treat over the next decade.

    • ssckelley

      How about batting Baez leadoff? I know he strikes out a lot but he can steal a few basis. Get him up to the plate as much as possible.

      • Edwin

        With his K% and BB%, I don’t think his OBP will be that high, so I think he’d work better lower in the order. I think 3rd or 5th is closer to where I’d slot him in, depending on how the rest of the minors shake out.

        • ssckelley

          I’ve read somewhere, perhaps on here, that you want your best hitters getting as many plate appearances as possible. But ok, let’s bat him second behind Almora.

          I love my spelling error…..we stealing basis now!

          • Edwin

            If things go well for the Cubs, I think Almora is probably the best bet to turn into a high OBP player, so in my ideal world, he’ll bat leadoff. I think Bryant will be a better hitter than Baez, so Bryant hits 2nd. Then Rizzo 3rd, and Baez 4th.

          • Cyranojoe

            My god. My previous supervisor would CONSTANTLY suggest that we “touch basis”. It drove me stark raving mad. I think I must have blacked out every time, because I never corrected her over seven years of it. :P

            • Fishin Phil

              My boss frequently asks for “imput”.

              • Cyranojoe

                *shudder*

              • DarthHater

                In fairness, your boss is a block of wood, right?

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    This feels a lot like Javier Baez 2013 2.0.

    Makes me wonder if the Cubs are going to reach for one of the big-power bats in this year’s draft.

    DRAFT ALL THE POWER BATS!!!!

    • ssckelley

      Yes please! Jackson or Gatewood, draft all the power bats and let’s just out slug the opposing teams.

      Imagine that for a sec, the Cubs having like 5 guys capable of hitting more than 40 homers per year. The Cubs won’t have just “bash brothers” they will have a “bash family” or better name will be a “Killers Row” in the middle of the lineup.

  • Spoda17

    I am nervously excited about the praise… but I will reserve buying the WS tickets until the cash is in the bank…

  • Edwin

    I’m interested to see what happens with Bryant’s K% going forward. It’s too early to be “alarmed” by it, but I’m curious to see how it turns out this year.

    • bbmoney

      I agree. Too early to be concerned, but it is something to pay attention too.

      He’s so tall and it sounds like he’s quite patient, so I’m guessing he’ll always have a lot of K’s in his arsenal. But if the 40+ HR power being discussed is legit….you can live with a pretty high K rate.

      • Edwin

        His walk rate is also pretty good, and could get better. If his power stays up, that should help him draw some walks.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          That’s a common supposition, but it actually almost never works that way. If you don’t swing at non-strikes, then pitchers will throw strikes. (Whether you can hit those or not is another issue.) If you swing at pitches that you don’t hit well, then the pitchers focus on those blue zones where guys swing and miss/hit the ball poorly. This is true for sluggers and slappers alike.

          However, Bryant seems to have pretty good pitch recognition, so hopefully this won’t be an issue for him.

          • Edwin

            Was there an actual study on this? Just looking at the top 25 in ISO and bottom 25 in ISO, it seems like players who hit for more power generally walk more than players who don’t hit for power.

            Jose Bautista went from an ISO of .161 and BB% of 10.80% 2004-2009 to an ISO of .302 and a BB% of 15.9% from 2010-2013. That’s just one data point, and maybe there’s another explanation for this, but it seems like players who hit for more power are generally able to draw more walks. Similar thing happened to Sosa after his ISO increased.

            It seems to me that if you have power, pitchers are more likely to try and keep the ball out of the strike zone, and if you don’t have power, pitchers are more likely to keep it in the zone.

    • ssckelley

      If Bryant is knocking 50+ homers a year will we really care what his SO percentage is? Jon mentioned Chris Davis earlier, I would take that power and his 30%+ SO percentage in the Cubs lineup in a heartbeat.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        If Bryant is knocking in 50+ homers a year, that would indicate he has a livable K rate.

        A high K rate indicates a problem making contact. If he is capable of putting 10% of his BIP into the seats, every 10 strikeouts (roughly, every 1.5 percentage points) is going to cost him a HR along with other outcomes (walks, doubles, etc…).

        So if he is a true-24% K rate hitter, that is a free 4 home runs every year along with the corresponding other hits vs. if he is a true-30% K rate hitter.

        Right now, his K rate is a concern because it could indicate the liklihood of him succeeding in the bigs.

        • ssckelley

          [img]https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRgp5zxG6XGNoRSDpkZUWgL0D9Lde4wQtIlGICnYGx0BLFO5_8NGg[/img]

  • Steve

    Wouldn’t it be something is Rizzo ended up being our 4th best power hitter, with 25 hrs annually?

    My pee pee just got un-flaccid.

    • cavemancubbie

      I haven’t had that ‘condition’ in years! :)

    • Danny Ballgame

      There have been a ton of prospect boner jokes recently. Perhaps due to recent influx of prospect porn.

  • Lou Brown

    We already have Jimenez from the IFA signings, now let’s draft Gatewood. All your HR hitters belong to us!

  • NorthSideIrish

    Did anyone else hear Professor Parks pull a John Holmes comp on Almora today? That’s a new one.

    • jp3

      No what did he say? That’s big praise:) ha

    • Jon

      The porn actor?

      • NorthSideIrish

        Yeah…that’s how Parks described the way Almora was walking around when he saw him at BP in Mesa. Something along the lines of “strutting around like he was John Holmes or something”. He was talking about how cocky/confident Almora appears when watching him between drills, but that he is all business when it comes time to work.

        • Fishin Phil

          Hee, hee, NSI said “cocky”.

        • Jon

          What’s with his obsession with porn?

        • JB88

          John Holmes … BP … You sure that reference wasn’t related to something other than his strut? ;)

          • Fishin Phil

            Are you saying he swings some serious lumber?

            • Edwin

              He fixes the cable?

          • http://bleachernation.com woody

            He’s taking a dirt nap at the moment.

            • Fishin Phil

              True, but they had to build a custom coffin to accommodate him.

              • JB88

                I thought his manhood was at the Smithsonian (?) …

              • ssckelley

                Custom urn perhaps? He was cremated.

  • Steve

    I know a lot of you yokels have been pandering around with future line ups, and I have, at times, ignored or scoffed at them.
    I want to apologize….as, well, when I do it:
    Bryant
    Baez
    Soler
    Rizzo
    It once again alleviates the softness from my lower regions.

  • brainiac

    bryant hitting 120 homers is exactly what “the plan” is going to need to come true in the way they’ve circulated it. of course he’ll be a contribution to the team if just hitting just 20, hopefully maturing to 30-40 a year by year 3-4 of his mlb career.

    the rest of it is managing expectations while baseball is canceled until further notice in chicago.

    • Fishin Phil

      Brett, I will donate $100 to your favorite charity if you install an “ignore” button.

      • ssckelley

        No way! How can you ignore a guy who gave us the “hiding the beanbag” catch phrase?

        • mjhurdle

          i submitted a definition to Urban Dictionary for that last night. Waiting on it to be confirmed or rejected by the editors.

          • ssckelley

            I say we just use it whenever we want.

      • brainiac

        say what you will, but you guys love my posts. “hide the beanbag” should be the new cubs catch phrase. there’s a reason it’s caught on with its fans so quickly B)

  • jp3

    I’m sure this is inaccurate but the tall Bryant reminds me a little of Richie sexson with more power obviously. I definitely mean Sexson when he was in his prime

  • Funn Dave

    Brett, Google between vs. among.

    -BN Grammar Douche

  • Mike

    In other news… Garza getting lit up by the Angels. ERA in the spring approaching 20.00. Maybe he is working too hard on his shaving creme pie interview bombs instead of, you know, pitching.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Pitching line for Brewers Matt Garza: 1.2 IP, 9 H, 10 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.

    Feeling good about that Rangers trade right now

    • Jon

      So we shouldn’t overreacted to bad performances by Cubs players in ST, but it’s ok to overreact to bad performances by ex-Cubs players in ST?

      (just so I can keep score at home)

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Have I ever overreacted to ST performance by a Cubs player this Spring? Don’t think so. Spring stats mean nothing.

        I just like pointing out how great of a trade that was. I actually think the Brewers deal for Garza will be a steal, IF he cans stay on the mound and pitch 200innings per season consistently. But not likely IMO

      • Edwin

        IIRC, last spring there were Cubs fans worried about Chris Volstad’s strong spring with whatever team he was on at the time.

        It’s the crazy thing about spring training. We all know not to read too much into anything, but the second Baez or Bryant hits a home run, or a player we know struggles, we do it anyways.

    • ssckelley

      Maybe he was only throwing fastballs?

      • Fishin Phil

        Maybe they all bunted against him.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          There should be a “Like” button on this message board

        • Mike

          Haha, definitely need a like button.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Haha pulling an Edwin Jackson

        • D.G.Lang

          “Pulling” is a poor choice of words after all the “boner”, “erection”, and other terms which proceeded it.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Well, I guess that should make Travis Wood feel better. Garza is a guy that is better off being with another team. Hopefully he will really suck in all of his outings v.s. the cubs.

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