Happy Kris Bryant Day! Projections, Looking Back, Staying Grounded, Uniform Number, More

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Happy Kris Bryant Day! Projections, Looking Back, Staying Grounded, Uniform Number, More

Chicago Cubs

happy cubs old logoHappy Kris Bryant Day!

That’s one of those things that’s said half-winking, but, truly, this is a enormous moment.

I really don’t think that oversells it. Bryant’s promotion is not only a huge day for the Chicago Cubs – and Cubs fans who’ve been waiting patiently throughout this rebuilding process – but it’s also a huge day for all of baseball. Rarely does a prospect capture the attention of the baseball world so completely in Spring Training as Bryant did, and rarely is a prospect so uniformly praised as being the best in the game. Fans of teams all over want to see what this guy can do. They’ll be watching. This is an enormous moment.

There will be ups and downs. The downs might start today. Or maybe Bryant hits a game-winning homer like Javier Baez did. Or hits a homer on his first swing like Jorge Soler did.

In either case, we’ll all have to do our best to remember the long, dynamic nature of baseball. Enjoy the hell out of the great moments, of course, but don’t come to expect anything supernatural. And, when the struggles come, don’t get too down. There will be tough games. There will be a lot of strikeouts. There will be errors.

But there’s going to be some serious excitement along the way.

  • Bryant will make his debut at Wrigley Field, and, if you can’t be there to watch, you can see it on TV. Today’s 1:20pm CT game will be on ABC-7 in Chicago, and on a number of affiliates in the Cubs’ blackout region. If you’re outside that area, might I suggest that today’s as good a day as any to pull the trigger on MLB.tv. That’s how I’ll be watching.
  • It’ll be a tough first assignment for Bryant, facing James Shields. But maybe Bryant can show Shields why he made the wrong choice this offseason in going to the Padres, whom he suggested were more about winning now and for the next four or five years than the other teams he was considering. Since Shields confirmed that his decision came down to the Padres and the Cubs, you can connect those dots. And Bryant can connect with a Shields fastball. Maybe. Hopefully.
  • Bryant’s projections are all very optimistic, given his youth, and are all in the same range. PECOTA has him at .261/.351/.516 (31.4% K rate), ZiPS has him at .256/.339/.500 (32.9%), and Steamer has him at .260/.333/.498 (29.7%). If Bryant actually performs at those levels, he will dramatically impact the Cubs’ overall performance this year.
  • Dan Szymborski writes that Bryant’s ZiPS projection is the best he’s ever seen for a prospect. Ever-ever. And he, you know, created ZiPS.
  • Baseball Prospectus looks at the call-up, and discusses Bryant’s impact.
  • Beyond the Box Score’s entire front page is Bryant content.
  • It’s fun to think back:

  • Speaking of 17, here’s the answer to what many of you’ve been asking:

  • Think Bryant has come up a few times in the Taylor household? This happened at dinner yesterday, well before there was any news:

  • And, of course, from the man, himself:

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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.