Results tagged ‘ Kris Bryant ’

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:’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’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

6/9 Minor matters – Sunday’s games

Dallas Beeler threw seven shutout innings to help Iowa post a 3-0 win over Colorado Springs. Javier Baez had two hits and drove in his 29th run, and Zac Rosscup pitched a scoreless eighth in the second game of his rehab assignment. Blake Parker picked up his 13th save.

Kris Bryant hit his 21st home run, tops in the Southern League, and Dustin Geiger hit his eighth but it wasn’t enough as Tennessee lost, 6-5, to Jacksonville. Bryant is batting .356 and leads the league with 54 RBIs.

Clearwater scored five runs in the seventh to beat Daytona, 8-7. Albert Almora, Gioskar Amaya and Marco Hernandez each had two RBIs.

Ben Carhart had three hits and scored a run in Kane County’s 3-2 loss to Cedar Rapids. Paul Blackburn took the loss, giving up two earned runs over five innings.

6/8 MInor matters

Javier Baez hit a RBI single in the third but that was all Iowa could manage in a 5-1 loss to Colorado Springs. Eric Jokisch gave up three runs over seven innings, striking out six, and took the loss. In his first rehab appearance, Zac Rosscup struck out two in one inning.

Kris Bryant hit his 20th home run and Charlie Cutler hit his second and drove in three runs to lead Tennessee to a 5-0 win over Jacksonville. Dae-Eun Rhee threw seven shutout innings for the win.

Nathan Dorris gave up two runs over 4 2/3 innings in Daytona’s 8-0 loss to Clearwater. Bijan Rademacher singled, and now has hit in eight of his last nine games.

Juan Paniagua threw six shutout innings in Kane County’s 5-2 win over Cedar Rapids. With the win, Kane County clinched the first-half Western Division championship. Ben Carhart hit his first home run.

6/4 Bryant, Blackburn honored

The Cubs named Double-A Tennessee’s Kris Bryant and Class A Kane County’s Paul Blackburn the organization’s Minor League player and pitcher of the month for May, respectively.

Bryant, 22, led the Southern League with a .407 batting average, 30 runs, seven doubles, 12 home runs, 34 RBIs and 17 walks in 29 May games. He also led the league with an OPS of 1.298, including an on-base percentage of .492 and a slugging percentage of .806. The third baseman had multiple hits in 14 of 29 games, including a pair of four-hit games. Twice in the month he was named the league’s player of the week. The second overall pick in last year’s First-Year Player Draft, Bryant was named to the Southern League All-Star team on Tuesday.

Blackburn, 20, went 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in five May starts for Kane County, walking five and striking out 26. He held opponents to one or no runs in four of his five outings. A sandwich round pick in the 2012 Draft, Blackburn is 5-1 with a 2.33 ERA, 43 strikeouts and 10 walks in 10 starts this season.


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