6/6 Bryant eager to play now
Kris Bryant is ready to insert himself into the Cubs lineup now.
“I obviously think I could play in the big leagues now,” Bryant said after the Cubs made him the No. 2 player selected overall. “I have that type of confidence in myself, but, like I said, that’s not my decision. I’ll leave that up to the guys in charge.”
The guys in charge include Theo Epstein, who met with the infielder in San Diego. For Bryant, it was like meeting a rock star.
“It was just crazy,” Bryant said. “I grew up watching baseball, obviously. He was the general manager who everybody knew. He was always in front of the camera. He was the guy. He won two World Series with the Red Sox. It was just crazy to actually sit down and talk to him face to face. It’s something I’ll remember forever and be able to tell my kids and grandchildren that I was able to sit down in college and meet Theo Epstein face to face, which is something a lot of people don’t get to do.”
Epstein wasn’t the only one who chatted with Bryant. Jason McLeod, vice president of scouting and player development, has strong ties with the San Diego coaching staff, which helped in terms of background checks. What did they learn?
“It’s how he carries himself on the field, how he deals with adversity, how he prepares, what kind of student athlete he was,” McLeod said of the items they checked on the list. “All the information we gathered made us feel really good about him as a person and a player.”
His mother lived in Chicago, so there are some family ties to the area.
“I know they’re all smiling back there,” Bryant said.
He also had done a little homework on the Cubs.
“I know they haven’t won a World Series in a while,” Bryant said. “Hopefully, I can do all I can to help the Cubs win one. That’s about the extent of what I know. I know it’s a great baseball city, I know it’s a great team, a lot of history to it. I’m excited and just happy I’m going to be given the opportunity to continue playing this game.”
— Carrie Muskat