Kris Bryant Was the Most Valuable Minor Leaguer Last Year and Other Bullets

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Kris Bryant Was the Most Valuable Minor Leaguer Last Year and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

kris bryant smileReminder: you can get free shipping on all BN store orders (cool shirts for cool people! hooray!). Just use the code LOVE4ALL when you checkout.

  • Yesterday, Keith Law ranked him the top prospect in baseball, and today, Kris Bryant gets another interesting top spot: the top WAR in the minor leagues last year among position players. I know what you’re thinking: there’s no such thing as minor league WAR. And you are correct. But Carson Cistulli had a little fun at FanGraphs, and tried to calculate minor league players’ WAR last year using the best available data. The results? As you may have expected, Kris Bryant blew away the field with an 8.9 WAR (next closest was 7.5). Even if you adjust other players’ time in the minors to account for Bryant’s nearly full season there (WAR/600 PAs), he still crushes the field of semi-regulars, with 9.0 WAR. The only other player higher than 8 is a 33-year-old player in the Mexican League.
  • (Fun aside: there were just two players that topped Bryant’s 9.0 WAR/600, though each had only limited playing time. The first was a 20-year-old in the Dominican Summer League, which, whatever. The second? It was Kyle Schwarber at 9.5.)
  • Obviously none of that matters in any kind of meaningful sense, but it’s another reminder that Bryant’s 2014 season wasn’t just very good – it was absolutely ridiculous. No wonder the various projection systems are crushing on him (ZiPS, PECOTA).
  • I think it is cool that is trying to make the reveal of its top prospects list a TV event (on MLB Network and streamed on, and I think there is definite interest out there. But a Friday night at 9pm ET? That doesn’t seem like an ideal slot for maximizing attention:

  • Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t the reveal of a top prospects list more compelling than an episode of MLB Tonight or a top ten list of big league players (which is what ran in primetime on MLBN last night)? I’m probably wrong. In any case, the reveal is tonight, and the full top 100 list will come out online shortly thereafter. I’m sure I’ll be tweeting heavily about the list, and I probably won’t be able to stop myself from writing the full thing up at 10pm ET … when nobody will be around to read it.
  • Some neighbors are complaining about various Wrigley renovation construction bits – as you would expect – but one of the complaints is surprising: rats. As in, tons of them overtaking nearby areas, according to some neighbors in this Tribune article. It is, of course, not entirely clear whether the rats have anything to do with the renovation work, but it makes for a humorous discussion (well, for us, maybe, if not the homeowners in the immediate area).
  • If you thought yesterday’s discussion of requiring pitchers to face at least two batters when they enter a game was crazy (I’m really liking it the more I think about it), check out Dave Cameron’s similar, but much crazier, suggestion: teams can use four pitchers, max, for the first 9 innings. It’s interesting, but there are some serious hurdles there, including injuries, pitch counts, etc. I do like having these conversations, though.
  • Sahadev Sharma on the Indians’ scouting and player development success stories – how did they make it happen?
  • Although his team won the Puerto Rican Winter League, Javy Baez will not be playing with them in the Caribbean Series (Jesse Sanchez). It sounds like Baez wanted to keep playing, but the Cubs shut him down (Carrie Muskat). I can’t say I’m disappointed – it would be nice to see Baez now take a couple weeks off, relax, and show up for Spring Training refreshed and ready to go.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.