In the words of Anthony Rizzo, “This kid is really good.” That is the overwhelming statement when talking about Kris Bryant. As of Sunday, the Chicago Cubs‘ top prospect leads in the National League triple crown categories, and only Mike Trout has a higher batting average than Bryant. This spring, Bryant has eight home runs (nine unofficially), 14 RBI, and a .480 batting average. Much of this production has also been done with Bryant being bothered by a sore shoulder as well. This spring, Bryant is not disappointing, and the adjectives that are being used to describe his success are running out about as fast as the home runs that he is hitting.
Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of talk regarding the dilemma that the Cubs will have with Bryant when final rosters are announced, and rightfully so. Will the Cubs put Bryant on the Opening Day roster, or will they have him start the 2015 season in the minors and possibly gain an extra year of contract control? While that has certainly been the hot-topic debate, it should not cloud the fact that Bryant continues to live up to the ever-growing list of accolades that are attached to his resume.
In addition to the early success Bryant is having on the field, he can also seem to do no wrong off the field as well. His attitude, humility, and generosity are as impressive as his home run power. Cub fans have already taken to Bryant and when his Wrigley Field debut is eventually made, he will be an instant fan favorite at Clark and Addison. With Rizzo and Bryant, fans will have two cornerstone pieces that they can look towards as steady role models within the community for years to come. The two will be the future of the franchise for reasons that go beyond the white lines.
With each “450-foot popup,” as Jake Arrieta describes Bryant’s homers, the wow factor of Bryant is growing daily. This spring has seen the slugger continue to develop into a premier big-league hitter. Ultimately, he will be on the 25-man roster, help the Cubs contend, and all of the contract technicalities will be worked out. But for now, the impressive display that Bryant is putting on this spring should be celebrated. Bryant is setting the table for a shining career, and it is just one of the many reasons for the excitement booming out of Cubs camp this spring. That, and all of the home runs.