[Luke is on the road to his big Iowa Cubs event this weekend, so this will serve as your Minor League Daily for today. If you're going to the Iowa games tonight and on Saturday, look for the guy with a beard in a black BN shirt - that's Luke. He'll be behind home plate for today's game, and then in Section U (first base side) on Saturday. I believe he also said he would be wearing a fedora.]
Kris Bryant made his long-awaited debut at AAA Iowa last night, and he didn’t make folks wait for his first highlight.
In his first three at bats, Bryant went through a mini adjusting process. In his first at bat, he was worked away, away, away with offspeed stuff, and, although battled a bit, he struck out swinging on one low and away. In his second at bat, he was ready for that outside stuff, but caught the ball off the end of the bat, and flew out weakly (for him) to right center. In his third at bat, he was once again ready for the outside stuff, and flew out to right.
And, then, in his fourth at bat, he did this (sparkle):
Here’s another view, from the stands (posted in the comments by ChicagoSportsFan, and posted on YouTube by RoughRider9):
I love hearing the fans going nuts.
And that’s just that easy Bryant power. It almost never looks like he’s putting an authoritative swing on the ball, and yet he can still drive the ball out to right center like that, in a park that isn’t terribly easy in which to do that. His swing is, of course, very authoritative.
Speaking of authoritative swings, Javy Baez had a solid single in three at bats, and also took an intentional walk. He struck out once.
You can check out the Iowa Cubs box score here – they wound up winning 6-2 behind a solid Tsuyoshi Wada start, and nice games at the plate from Josh Vitters, Chris Valaika, and Arismendy Alcantara (everyone but catcher Luis Flores – who filled in for Welington Castillo (scratched because of the rain delay and wet field conditions) – had a hit). Alcantara stole his 15th base … and Baez stole his 13th. How about that?
Kyle Schwarber also made his promotion debut at Low-A Kane County, and, in a rain-shortened game, he went 1-3 with a single. According to those in attendance his first out was a deep fly to the track in left that many thought would get out.
That game, which the Cougars won 7-0, was completed after just five innings thanks to rain. Otherwise, I’m sure Schwarber would have Hulked one out, too. Jacob Hannemann had an inside-the-park homer in that one, and Daury Torrez threw five scoreless, walkless, three-hit innings. He struck out one. The box for the Kane County win is here. BN’er Jason was there, and has more on the game here.
The Tennessee Smokies walked off 4-3 on a hit by none other than birthday boy (and recent demotee) Christian Villanueva. Rubi Silva had three hits, including a homer.
The Daytona Cubs won 7-4 behind a huge game from Dan Vogelbach, who wants to show he’s still got his power in the second half: he went 3-5 with a homer and a double. Albert Almora had a couple hits, including a double.
The Boise Hawks missed out on the stateside organizational sweep, losing 8-7 in extras. Catcher Justin Marra had a homer and a double in six at bats.