A few days ago Baseball Essential staffer Jacob Fagan wrote a piece mentioning Chicago Cubs highly touted prospect Kris Bryant being optioned to Minor League camp. Then today ESPN’s Cubs writer Jesse Rogers posted this on Twitter: Kris Bryant just spoke publicly for the first time since being sent down. “I’m extremely disappointed.”
Bryant, 23, is the most highly anticipated prospect in the Cubs organization since Kerry Wood‘s debut on April 12, 1998. Drafted by the Chicago Cubs with the second overall pick of the 2013 June MLB amateur draft, he’s done nothing but live up to the hype that’s surrounded him since his collegiate days at the University of San Diego. In two seasons down in the minors for the Cubs he’s amassed a video-game-esque .327/.428/.666 slash line along with 52 home runs and 142 RBI’s. Kris has continued this barrage into his 2015 Spring Training batting an awe-inspiring .425/.477/1.175 and obliterating nine home runs in 14 games.
There are plenty of rumors and accusations bounding around about the reasoning behind Bryant not being assigned to the Major League roster for the first game of the season coming up on Sunday versus the St. Louis Cardinals. Some are arguing that it’s the business side of the game so that the Cubs can ward off free agency for an extra year by keeping him away form the big club for 12 days. Others argue that it’s a matter of readiness. Bryant has struck out in 35% of his Spring Training at-bats.
Although feeling disappointed as mentioned earlier, Bryant is still optimistic for what this season brings telling Rogers, “The dream is on hold for a little bit but I’m hungrier than ever. I’m excited to see what comes out with this motivation. I’ve never been in this situation before. Maybe my game will go to another level.”