Results tagged ‘ Kris Bryant ’

4/23 Minor matters

Arismendy Alcantara homered to back Eric Jokisch and help Iowa beat Round Rock 10-3. Jokisch gave up three runs over seven innings and struck out eight. Alcantara had two hits and two RBI. Javier Baez also had two hits, including a triple, and three RBIs.

Pierce Johnson was activated from the DL, and made his first start for Tennessee. Johnson took the loss in a 14-3 decision against Birmingham. Kris Bryant had three hits, including a double, and was batting .311.

Tayler Scott gave up three runs — one earned — over 5 1/3 innings in Daytona’s 18-5 win over Clearwater. Rock Shoulders had three hits, including his second home run, and four RBIs. Pin-Chieh Chen had four hits, including two triples and a double, and three RBIs.

Paul Blackburn gave up one run on five hits over 5 1/3 innings in Kane County’s 5-4 win over Beloit. Yasiel Balaguert drove in a run and his 15 RBIs rank second in the league.

4/13 Minor matters

Tsuyoshi Wada struck out 10 over 6 2/3 innings in Iowa’s 5-0 win over Memphis. Wada retired the first six batters he faced. Brian Schlitter, optined to Iowa earlier in the day, threw a scoreless ninth. Brett Jackson had one RBI and Matt Szczur delivered a two-run pinch-single in the ninth.

Kris Bryant hit his third home run and Zeke DeVoss hit a two-run triple to lead Tennessee to a 5-1 victory over Chattanooga. Bryant and Dustin Geiger are tied for the Southern League lead with three homers each. Ryan Searle picked up the win in relief.

Albert Almora drove in three runs in Daytona’s 7-1 win over Tampa. Rob Zastryzny gave up one run on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. Almora hit his first home run of the season and also hit a double. Dan Vogelbach had two RBI.

Jacob Rogers had four RBI in Kane County’s 9-8 win over Lake County. Rogers hit a two-run homer and a double. David Bote also homered and drove in two runs.

4/5 Minor matters

Matt Szczur had two hits, but that was all Iowa totaled in a 9-0 loss to Memphis. Marcos Mateo and Blake Parker combined for 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief. Zac Rosscup struck out two in the ninth.

Kris Bryant hit his second homer in as many games to lead Tennessee to a 1-0 win over Pensacola. Bryant connected in the seventh. C.J. Edwards gave up one hit and walked one while striking out four over four innings.

Pin-Chieh Chen had three hits and one RBI but it wasn’t enough as Daytona lost, 4-3, in 10 innings to Brevard County. Bijan Rademacher hda two hits.

Kane County’s game against Quad Cities was postponed because of cold weather. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday.

4/4 Minor matters

Chris Rusin gave up five runs on six hits and walked four over 3 2/3 innings in Iowa’s 10-2 loss to Memphis. Josh Vitters hit a solo home run and Christian Villanueva had two hits, including a double.

Kris Bryant hit a two-run home run in his first at-bat, Zeke DeVoss tripled in a run in the second, but it wasn’t enough as Tennessee lost 6-5 to Pensacola on Thursday in the Double-A season opener. Tony Zych took the loss, giving up five hits and two earned runs. Smokies starter Dae-Eun Rhee walked four, struck out four and gave up two hits over four innings. Bryant’s home run to left came on a 3-0 pitch from Mat Latos, who was making a rehab start. DeVoss extended the lead to 3-0 with his triple off Latos.

Gioskar Amaya had two hits in Daytona’s 1-0 loss to Brevard County. Felix Pena gave up three hits over six innings and took the loss.

Yasiel Balaguert had four hits, including three doubles, and drove in two runs in Kane County’s 8-4 win over Quad Cities. Carlos Penalver was 3-for-3 with one RBI.

3/12 Roster moves – UPDATED

The Cubs made the first roster cuts of spring on Wednesday. Arismendy Alcantara, Logan Watkins, Jorge Soler and Matt Szczur were optioned to the Minor League camp. Kris Bryant, Jeudy Valdez, Albert Almora, Carlos Pimentel and Eric Jokisch were assigned to the Minor League camp. Outfielder Aaron Cunningham was granted his release. The Cubs now have 56 players in camp.

Alcantara, Watkins, and Szczur were optioned to Triple-A Iowa; Soler was optioned to Double-A Tennessee.

Bryant, the second player selected overall last June, hit a home run in his first spring at-bat, and was 2-for-9 in seven Cactus League games. His other hit also was a home run. Almora, the Cubs’ first-round pick in 2012, had appeared in six games, and was 5-for-9. Soler, coming back from a leg injury last season, was 2-for-8 in eight games.

“We’re glad they’re Cubbies,” Renteria said of the top trio. “They’ve shown their ability to be professionals here in terms of how they carried themselves, some of the performances they had in the course of the spring. Now it’s time for them to get down there and start getting more at-bats and start getting ready for the regular season for themselves and continue to develop and improve on their skill sets. It’s like anything, all players are a little disappointed, but they know there’s a reason and purpose for what we do.”

Bryant, Almora and Soler handled themselves well in big league camp, and often had more interview requests than the veteran players on the Cubs roster.

“They showed maturity beyond their age, the way they deal with people, the way they deal with the press, the way they interact with teammates,” Renteria said. “It was pretty good.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/1 Picture perfect

Bryant1stHR

Photographer John Antonoff @baseballinfocus sent this photo of Kris Bryant’s first spring home run from Friday’s game in Tempe.

2/28 Bryant hits 1st spring homer

It was one inning in the Cubs’ second Cactus League game, but Friday’s seventh was a sign of things to come. Kris Bryant belted a two-run homer in his first spring at-bat, driving in Albert Almora, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Cubs lost, 15-3, to the Angels.

All of the so-called core four of Almora, Bryant, Jorge Soler and Javier Baez had at-bats in the seventh. Arismendy Alcantara, another highly touted prospect, popped up to lead off the inning, and Almora, the Cubs’ No. 1 pick in 2012, then doubled. Soler struck out and Bryant followed with a lengthy at-bat that resulted in a 420-foot shot just left of the batter’s eye off a 3-2 slider from the Angels’ Jarrett Grube.

Brett Jackson, another Cubs’ No. 1 pick, walked and Baez, a first-round selection in 2011, lined out sharply to third base to end the inning.

“It was kind of cool — Albert got on with a double, Jorge, he had some good swings, and then I drove in Albert,” Bryant said. “Hopefully, we can do that a lot in the future.”

The Cubs certainly hope so.

Bryant’s career has been on the fast track since the third baseman was selected second overall in last June’s First-Year Player Draft. After he signed with the Cubs, Bryant played two games with the Rookie League team, then was bumped up to short-season Boise for 18 games. His debut there wasn’t nearly as impressive as he struck out in all five at-bats. But Bryant batted .354 and was promoted to high Class A Daytona, where he hit .333 in 16 games with five home runs and five doubles plus 14 RBIs.

And he wasn’t done. The winner of the Golden Spikes award as the top college baseball player of the year, Bryant, 22, played in the Arizona Fall League, and batted .364 with six more home runs, eight doubles and 17 RBIs.

He may be familiar with playing in the desert but this is his first big league camp, and the seventh inning was his first at-bat.

“I felt good up there, I was not nervous at all, and saw a lot of pitches, which was good,” Bryant said. “Home runs don’t mean anything if you don’t win the game, so that’s a little disappointing. For myself, it was a good performance.”

Cubs fans will see a lot of Bryant, Almora, Soler and Baez this spring as new manager Rick Renteria takes advantage of the Cactus League games to gauge the talent in the system. All are projected to open the season in the Minor Leagues. All have seemed very much at home in big league camp.

“It was a good first at-bat, and all the nerves are gone now,” Bryant said.

How can he be so calm?

“It’s just a game,” he said. “You’ve got to go out there and have fun and don’t put pressure on yourself and put a smile on your face and good things usually come from that.”

It worked at San Diego, where he led the nation with 31 home runs.

“I’ve just been blessed with power,” Bryant said. “I’m putting it to use. Hopefully, I can go out there tomorrow and give it all I’ve got and hopefully get a win.”

– Carrie Muskat

2/18 Riz on kids: Don’t rush them

Anthony Rizzo knows all about the great expectations people place on young players. He went through that when he was first called up to the Padres in 2011. Now, the Cubs’ top prospects, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Albert Almora and others, are dealing with the hype. Rizzo will try to ease some of the pressure.

“[The media] is going to crown them the next Babe Ruth,” Rizzo said Tuesday. “People did for me, and it’s part of the game, and they’re going to have to deal with that so-called pressure of coming up. They’re going to have fun, and we’ll make sure we have fun.”

Did all the attention affect the Cubs’ first baseman?

“I put my own expectations for what I do on myself,” Rizzo said. “What other people say doesn’t effect me.”

The Cubs have been adamant that Baez, the No. 1 prospect, will open at Triple-A Iowa. Fans are giddy at seeing the young potential impact players now.

“You say you don’t want to rush them too fast and make sure they can get the right amount of at-bats but they’ve shown they can handle every level,” Rizzo said. “The biggest learning process is up here [in the Major Leagues] — that’s where you learn the most. Adding that third deck of the stadium is huge. You can’t prepare for that.”

Rizzo’s transition wasn’t smooth. He was promoted to the Padres in June 2011, and batted .143 in his first 35 games, and was sent back to Triple-A. Called up again in September that year, he hit .133 in 14 games.

– Carrie Muskat

1/24 Non-roster invitees

The Cubs have invited 24 non-roster players to Spring Training, including top prospects Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Albert Almora. Among the pitchers invited to Major League camp are right-handeders Marcus Hatley, Kyle Hendricks, Carlos Pimentel, Armando Rivero and Brian Schlitter, and lefties Tommy Hottovy, Eric Jokisch, Jonathan Sanchez and Tsuyoshi Wada. Hendricks was the Cubs’ Minor League pitcher of the year in 2013.

Five infielders were invited, including Baez, Bryant, Ryan Roberts, Chris Valaika and Jeudy Valdez. The list of outfielders invited includes Almora, Chris Coghlan, Aaron Cunningham, Ryan Kalish, Mitch Maier, Darnell McDonald and Casper Wells.

Kalish, 25, a left-handed hitting outfielder, was voted the Red Sox’s rookie of the year in 2010. He’s coming off surgery on his right shoulder in January 2013 which was followed by cervical fusion surgery last August, similar to a procedure Peyton Manning had. Jorge Soler, another top Cubs prospect, will be in the big league camp; he’s on the 40-man roster.

Catchers John Baker, Rafael Lopez and Eli Whiteside also are on the list of non-roster invitees. The Cubs said Minor League catchers Luis Flores and Will Remillard also will assist at times in big league camp.

Cubs pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 13 to the team’s new facility in Mesa, Ariz., and have their first workout the next day. Position players report on Feb. 18, with new manager Rick Renteria’s first full squad workout scheduled for Feb. 19.

– Carrie Muskat

1/15 Cubs rookies notebook

The 15 prospects taking part in the Cubs’ Rookie Development Program took a break from their baseball studies to attend a Blackhawks’ game on Tuesday. For many of them, it was their first NHL game, and also a chance to see how rabid Chicago fans are about their team.

“Being at the stadium and watching all the people go crazy during the national anthem, that was awesome,” pitcher Pierce Johnson said Wednesday of the rousing performance before every home Blackhawks game. “I can just imagine what it’ll be like when we turn it around and actually win a World Series. I’m excited. It gives me chills.”

The Cubs are counting on the talent participating in this week’s program to get them that championship.

Joining Johnson were pitchers Kyle Hendricks, Neil Ramirez, Eric Jokisch, C.J. Edwards, Armando Rivero and Arodys Vizcaino; outfielders Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Rubi Silva; and infielders Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Christian Villanueva, Mike Olt, and Arismendy Alcantara. Eleven of the players rank among the Cubs’ top 20 prospects, according to MLB.com. Hendricks, who completed his economics degree at Dartmouth, was the Cubs’ 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

The week-long program includes drills, a hospital visit, and seminars, and will end with the Cubs Convention this weekend. The guest speakers included Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, Theo Epstein, manager Rick Renteria and former player Rick Sutcliffe.

“It prepares us for what’s coming,” Almora said. “They’re teaching us about what to get ready for, what to expect, what they expect from us. We’re taking it to heart, we’re taking notes. We’re in this for the long run.”

* Jason McLeod, head of scouting and player development, said Baez will open the season at Triple-A Iowa along with Villanueva and Alcantara. Bryant could be at Double-A Tennessee, and it was still to be determined where Almora and Soler will start the year.

* Two of the five Cubs prospects injured in a car accident Jan. 6 in the Dominican Republic remained hospitalized. Kevin Encarnacion and Jose Zapata were both doing well but still receiving treatment. Encarnacion played at Class A Boise last year.

* Jorge Soler is 100 percent healthy after a leg injury shortened his season. Soler played in the Arizona Fall League but was told to take it easy, McLeod said. The outfielder has been impressive in his approach at the plate. On Wednesday, Soler said he missed too many games last year, and was eager to get back to playing.

* C.J. Edwards is trying to gain weight. At the Blackhawks game, the skinny pitcher ate an Italian sausage, cheese fries, and a hot dog with cheese on it. Said Edwards: “Anything I see, I eat.”

* Javy Baez knows fans are clamoring for him to get to the big leagues. He’s doing everything he can but everyone wants to know when.

“As soon as possible,” he said.

– Carrie Muskat

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