Ladies and Gentlemen, the moment you have all been waiting so very patiently for is almost here. As I type this, Kris Bryant has amassed 99 plate appearances this season. The not-entirely-arbitrary cut-off line after which I drop the small sample size warnings for a hitter is 100 plate appearances. Weather permitting, sometime around 7:20 Wednesday evening Bryant will step to the plate for the 100th time, his sample size warning will vanish into the evening sky, and his 15.2% walk rate and .575 slugging percentage will become, in a sense, official.
And that moment we can begin the latest Era of Irrational Excitement. We are less than two days away from being able to state with confidence, free of sample size concerns, that Bryant is completely and utterly destroying Southern League pitching at a pace even Javier Baez could not equal. That’s right, Bryant actually has the higher OPS of the two. Baez clocked in at .983 in Double A; Bryant (admittedly, about two years older than Baez when he was in Double A), now has an OPS of 1.009.
One day, possibly soon, we’ll get to compare those two not just on the stat sheet, but in the lineup side by side.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa took an early lead and never trailed in this 6-3 win.
Tennessee – A four run sixth inning carried the Smokies to their 4-1 win.
Daytona – Daytona almost matched Lakeland run for run. Almost. The Cubs lost 11-10.
Kane County – In a rain shortened game, Kane County lost 1-0.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Javier Baez did what Javier Baez does best. And in addition to his third home run, he also walked twice.
- [Iowa] Lars Anderson also homered for the Cubs in this one, his first of the season, as part of a 3 for 4 night.
- [Iowa] Eric Jokisch struck out 8 in 6.1 innings of work, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks.
- [Iowa] Iowa was off to races again in this game. Chris Coghlan stole his 6th base, Arismendy Alcantara his 7th, and Logan Watkins his 4th.
- [Tennessee] Kris Bryant doubled, his 8th, and struck out. Rafael Lopez also doubled; for Lopez, it was his 9th.
- [Tennessee] John Andreoli had two more hits and a walk in this game.
- [Tennessee] Corey Black did not have his no-hit stuff, but he was close. Over 6 innings he allowed just 3 hits (including a solo homer) and walked one while striking out 5. Jeffrey Lorick and Tony Zych put up zeroes in relief.
- [Daytona] Jeimer Candelario doubled, homered (his 2nd), and drew a walk as he drove in over half of the Cubs runs.
- [Daytona] Marco Hernandez and Albert Almora both had two singles. Bijan Rademacher also had two singles to go with his double for a 3 hit game.
- [Daytona] Even though he got a lot of ground ball outs, Rob Zastryzny did not have good game. Over 4 innings he allowed 8 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks while striking out 4. This was the first start in which his walk total has been somewhat inflated, but he has been allowing way too many hits all season long.
- [Daytona] Arodys Vizcaino allowed a walk, but otherwise pitched a perfect inning in the eighth.
- [Kane County] Paul Blackburn started this game and struck out 4 over 5 innings while giving up a run on 3 hits. Justin Amlung struck out one in his inning of relief.
- [Kane County] Jacob Hannemann reached base and stole his 9th bag of the season.
- [Kane County] Yasiel Balaguert, Jordan Hankins, and Trey Martin all three singled for the Cougars.
- Have you watched that Baez home run yet? No? Then you’re missing out. Watch, loop, and enjoy.
- The longest consecutive game on base streak in the Southern League belongs to Kris Bryant at 24 games. The second longest? John Andreoli at 18 games. That’s awesome.