Results tagged ‘ Kris Bryant ’

6/24 Baez, Bryant named to Futures Game

Half of the Cubs’ so-called core four, shortstop Javier Baez and third baseman Kris Bryant, will showcase their talents at the All-Star Futures Game, to be played July 13 at Target Field in Minneapolis. Baez and Bryant, the Cubs’ first-round picks in 2011 and ’13, respectively, who are now teammates on Triple-A Iowa, were named to the event on Tuesday. Baez will play for the World team and Bryant will play for the U.S. team.

Heading into today’s game in Des Moines, Baez, 21, was batting .226 with 11 home runs, 11 doubles, two triples and 42 RBIs at Iowa. Bryant, 22, hit his fifth home run on Tuesday in the first inning of Iowa’s game. At Double-A Tennessee, Bryant led the Southern League in batting average (.355), home runs (22), and RBIs (58). He was promoted last Thursday.

Bryant has been on the fast track since he was selected second overall in last year’s First-Year Player Draft. In less than a year, he has moved up in the Cubs organization, beginning at short-season Boise. He played in the Arizona Fall League last October, and won Most Valuable Player honors. Bryant won the Golden Spikes Award as the top collegiate player in the country after hitting 31 home runs at San Diego.

– Carrie Muskat

6/22 Minor matters – Sunday’s games

Kris Bryant hit two home runs and drove in three runs and Chris Valaika hit his seventh home run to lift Iowa to a 7-6 win over Albuquerque. Bryant, promoted Thursday to Triple-A, is now 3-for-16 with eight strikeouts at Iowa. Armando Rivero picked up the win in relief of starter Eric Jokisch, who gave up five runs over six innings. Valaika was 3-for-4, and is batting .303.

Christian Villanueva and Dustin Geiger each hit two-run homers to lead Tennessee to a 4-0 win over Chattanooga. Eduardo Figueroa gave up three hits over five scoreless innings.

Daytona scored four runs in the eighth to post a 4-2 win over Tampa. The D-Cubs were limited to one hit until the eighth when Zeke DeVocc, Wes Darvill and Bijan Rademacher loaded the bases. Wilson Contreras then singled, and all the base runners scored along with Contreras, taking advantage of a throwing error by first baseman Matt Snyder.

In his first start with Kane County, Pierce Johnson took the loss in a 5-0 game against Cedar Rapids. Johnson gave up one run on three hits over four innings in the first game of a doubleheader. In the secod game, Jacob Rogers had two hits, including a home run, to help Kane County win, 3-2. Jacob Hannemann delivered the game-winning runs with a walk-off RBI single.

Boise totaled four hits in a 6-2 loss to Spokane.

Gleyber Torres went 3-for-6 with a triple and a two-run homer, and finished with four RBIs in Mesa’s 11-inning, 15-11 win over Arizona. Torres also stole two bases. Shamil Ubiera hit a three-run homer and Charcer Burks had four RBIs.

6/21 Bryant focused on work at Triple-A

Kris Bryant had not heard about comments made by Theo Epstein regarding plans for the team’s highly regarded prospect. All he was interested in Saturday was the daily schedule. Bryant was promoted from Double-A Tennessee to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday, and Epstein was asked whether there was a chance the third baseman could join the big league team this year.

“I don’t think it’s the right thing to do in someone’s first full professional season, barring extraordinary circumstances both to the player and what’s going on with the big league club,” Epstein told reporters Friday in Chicago. “I think it would be a tremendous accomplishment to dominate Double-A the way he did the first half of the season and go to Triple-A and continue his development, stay healthy all year and be productive all year and continue to work on his weaknesses.”

Bryant, 22, has been on the fast track since he was selected second overall in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. He was leading the Southern League in the Triple Crown categories when promoted.

“They have a plan for everybody,” Bryant said Saturday. “They’ve been doing it for quite a while. They’ve had so many good players, so you have to trust their plan, and I definitely do.”

When he was told of his promotion to Iowa, there was no talk about being one step away from the big leagues.

“They just told me pack your bags, you’re going to Iowa,” Bryant said. “I think if you keep it short and sweet, your head doesn’t get too big and you don’t think you’re better than the game. I won’t ever think like that. That’s not the type of person I am.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/20 Minor matters

Kris Bryant hit a home run in his first game with Iowa to help beat El Paso, 6-2. Tsuyoshi Wada gave up two runs on four hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven. Bryant connected in the seventh, hitting a two-run shot.

Christian Villanueva, sent to Tennessee from Iowa to make room for Bryant, hit a walk off RBI single to lift the Smokies to a 4-3 win over Chattanooga. Rubi Silva hit his fifth home run.

Daytona opened the second half with a 7-4 win over Brevard County. Dan Vogelbach had three hits, including his sixth home run, and two RBIs. Albert Almora had two hits.

Daury Torrez threw five shutout innings in Kane County’s 7-0 win over Cedar Rapids. Jacob Hannemann hit his third home run, driving in two runs. In his first game with the Cougars, Kyle Schwarber was 1-for-3, scored a run, and drove in another.

Boise lost, 8-7, in 11 innings to Eugene. Justin Marra hit his third home run, a two-run shot, and also a double. Kevin Brown had three hits, including two doubles.

6/20 Theo on Bryant

Speaking in Chicago today, Theo Epstein said it was time to challenge Kris Bryant, which is why he was promoted to Triple-A.

“We’re proud of Kris,” Epstein said. “He’s had an unbelievable start to his first full professional season and he had accomplished a lot of the developmental goals we set out for him at Double-A. We felt like a promotion to Triple-A to continue to challenge him would be good for him in the long run.

“He still has some things to work on. He’ll continue to work on them at Triple-A, but seeing some more advanced pitching, some guys that can execute on a more consistent basis, try to find his holes, change speeds — it’ll be good for him. It’s the next stop in his development.”

Should Bryant continue to excel, the next stop is logically the big leagues. But Epstein said the Cubs don’t plan to call him up this year.

“I don’t think it’s the right thing to do in someone’s first full professional season, barring extraordinary circumstances both to the player and what’s going on with the big league club,” Epstein said. “I think it would be a tremendous accomplishment to dominate Double-A the way he did the first half of the season and go to Triple-A and continue his development, stay healthy all year and be productive all year and continue to work on his weaknesses.”

NOTE: MLB.com’s Joe Popely was in Chicago to report on Epstein

6/20 Bryant homers in 1st Iowa game

Kris Bryant is making it look easy. In his first start with Triple-A Iowa, Bryant hit an opposite field two-run homer in the seventh inning in a 6-2 win over El Paso Thursday night.

“I went up there today figuring I was due — I haven’t hit one in a while,” Bryant said. “The home runs I’ve been hitting were in the home run derby [in the Southern League All-Star Game].”

Just think: A year ago, Bryant was hitting in cages with his dad in Las Vegas, and had yet to sign with the Cubs, who made the third baseman their first pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Bryant has been on a fast-paced trip through the Cubs’ Minor League system. He did what the Cubs wanted at Double-A Tennessee, and was leading the Southern League in the Triple Crown categories at the time of his promotion, batting .355 average, with 22 home runs, and 58 RBIs in 68 games. On Thursday, Bryant batted fifth, and went 1-for-4. He was matched up on the left side of the infield with Javier Baez, the Cubs’ No. 1 pick in 2011 and top prospect, who has been with Iowa all season, hit third, and went 1-for-3. The Cubs are hoping the two of them are paired up on the left side of the infield for a long time.

Bryant’s numbers made it look as if Double-A was too easy. Did he feel challenged?

“I did,” he said. “Baseball’s so hard, it’s such a challenging game. You’re still failing seven out of 10 times. If you wrap your head around that it brings you down and you realize this is a hard game. There are going to be games when you’re not feeling well and you’re going to strike out four times — five times in my case in my first game [with Boise]. It’s all about bouncing back.”

Cubs fans are eager to see the so-called core four of Bryant, Baez, Albert Almora and Jorge Soler at Wrigley Field sooner rather than later.

“I don’t pay any attention to it,” Bryant said of the hype on the prospects, “because I know there are other players in the organization who are very deserving of the attention. All the pitchers at Double-A, the starters, they have a really bright future. There are other guys — [Dan] Vogelbach, he goes under the radar, and you’ve got guys like Rafael Lopez, who’s one of the best catchers I’ve ever played with.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/18 Kris Bryant to Iowa

Kris Bryant is being promoted to Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs’ No. 1 pick in last year’s Draft posted the news on his Twitter account, and the team has confirmed it.

Bryant did everything the Cubs wanted him to do at Double-A Tennessee. The second pick overall in last June’s First-Year Player Draft, Bryant was leading the Southern League in the Triple Crown categories with a .355 batting average, 22 home runs and 58 RBIs in 68 games with Tennessee.

During a radio interview in Chicago on Tuesday, Theo Epstein was asked about Bryant’s progress.

“Is he dominating Double-A right now? Of course he is,” Epstein said. “Does that mean his development is complete? No.”

If you’re looking for weaknesses, there aren’t many. The third baseman has struck out 77 times in 248 at-bats, and has made 14 errors. The right-handed hitter was batting .442 against lefties, .337 versus right-handers. He hit .281 in April, followed that with a .407 May and was hitting .373 this month.

– Carrie Muskat

6/16 Extra bases

* According to Baseball America, the Cubs have signed high school pitcher Carson Sands for $1.1 million. The money slotted for the 109th pick was $480,600. A fourth-round pick, Sands has spent three straight summers pitching at Team USA’s national training complex in North Carolina, and won a gold medal with the 2012 18-and-under team. The left-hander attended North Florida Christian High School in Tallahassee, Fla., has good size and a feel for his changeup, according to MLB.com’s scouting report.

Baseball America also reports the Cubs have signed 11th-round pick Jordan Brink, a right-handed pitcher. He reportedly received a $100,000 bonus.

Please note that these players need to undergo physicals before the signings are completed. The team has not confirmed the signings.

* Tennessee’s Kris Bryant won the Southern League home run derby at the All-Star Game on Monday.

6/10 Minor matters – Monday’s games

Christian Villanueva and Rafael Lopez each hit grand slams to power Iowa to a 17-2 win over Fresno. Lopez finished with seven RBIs. Iowa totaled 17 hits. Javier Baez had three hits, including a solo home run and a triple, and scored four runs. Arismendy Alcantara also had three hits. Villanueva finished with five RBIs. It was more than enough offense for Tsuyoshi Wada, who gave up one run on eight hits over six innings.

Kris Bryant hit his 22nd home run but it wasn’t enough as Tennessee lost, 8-7, to Jacksonville. Named the Southern League player of the week for the third time this season, Bryant led off the seventh with his home run, connecting on the first pitch. He finished 2-for-5 and is batting .357 this season. Elliot Soto, Charles Cutler, Dustin Geiger, Anthony Giansanti and Jeudy Valdez each had two hits for the Smokies, who totaled 15 in the game.

Rob Zastryzny gave up two runs over seven innings but it wasn’t enough as Daytona lost, 2-0, to Clearwater. Zastryzny struck out a season-high nine batters. Daytona managed six hits in the loss.

Kane County beat Cedar Rapids, 2-1. Ryan Sweeney was 0-for-2 with a walk in his first rehab outing. Jacobs Rogers and Daniel Lockhart each had one RBI.

6/9 Bryant wins league weekly honors

For the second straight week and third time this season, Cubs prospect Kris Bryant was named the Southern League player of the week. Bryant, 22, batted .417 (10-for-24) last week with Double-A Tennessee with seven runs, three doubles, three home runs, five RBIs and six walks. He compiled a .533 on-base percentage and .917 slugging percentage in that stretch.

Entering Monday’s game, Bryant led the league in 10 categories, including the three Triple Crown statistics. He was batting .356 overall with 21 home runs and 54 RBIs in 62 games with the Smokies. The second pick overall in last June’s First-Year Player Draft, Bryant leads all Minor Leaguers in extra-base hits (39) and total bases (161), and was tied for first in home runs.

Fans may be eager to see Bryant in the big leagues but Cubs manager Rick Renteria said nobody’s asked him about when that might be. Well, almost nobody.

“Where do I hear it? I hear it from you guys,” Renteria said of the media. “I hear it more from you guys than anybody else.”

– Carrie Muskat

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