As the 2013 MLB Draft neared, it was pretty set in stone who the first three picks overall were going to be. It was simply a matter of which order they happened to go in. When the Houston Astros, somewhat surprisingly, selected Mark Appel with the no. 1 overall pick, the Chicago Cubs were left with one of two choices.
They could go with the power arm Jonathan Gray, out of Oklahoma or the power bat in Kris Bryant, out of San Diego. While many had anticipated the Cubs going with an arm, simply because of the lack of pitching depth throughout their system, the Cubs slightly surprised a lot of folks in selecting Bryant.
In Bryant, the Cubs get a potential force at the plate for the next several years. He’s not too far off, and should reach the show within the next couple of years. But just what exactly did the Cubs select with that second overall pick in Bryant, other than a power bat for the middle of the order?
The first question surrounding Bryant is where he will play. He’s listed as both a third baseman and an outfielder. But according to Bryant, as well as members of the Cubs front office, the expectation is that he will be manning the hot corner. Which is huge for an organization that really lacks an impact prospect that is a true third baseman.
We know he has a big bat. If there’s one thing that you could say about this kid it’s the fact that he simply mashes. But that doesn’t mean he’s flawless. There is work to be done here. He could use a bit of patience at the plate, as his pitch selection could stand to improve. It’s also been pointed out that he’s vulnerable to inside pitches, which means that his very wide stance will likely be tweaked at some point as he comes up.
Defensively, he’s solid. There aren’t concerns about him having to switch positions. He’s a solid fielder with a cannon for an arm. He projects as a third baseman through and through. He’s not exactly the fleetest of foot, but he can move well enough around the bases. He’s just an athlete. A massive, 6’5″ athlete that mashes.
The comparisons he’s drawn have been to that of Troy Glaus, which aren’t the worst in the world. This was the right move for the Cubs, simply based off of the track record of position players at the front of the draft compared to hurlers. This selection likely spells the end for Josh Vitters as a Cubs prospect and adds more excitement, with yet another impact bat in the pipeline.