In order to get called up, Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer have repeatedly said that prospects must dominate at every level. Last season, Kris Bryant tore up single-A and then won the Arizona Fall League MVP award. How has he followed that up so far this season?
First, he homered in his first-ever Spring Training at-bat. Then he homered in his first-ever double-A at bat. He hasn’t been a one-hit wonder, though; Bryant is leading double-A in almost every major offensive category.
Batting an otherworldly .351 with 18 home runs and 49 RBIs so far this season, Bryant has been the definition of domination so far in his professional career. That’s exactly why he should and will get called up by the Cubs this month. After putting up the numbers he has in double-A, what else does he have to prove?
The team could move him to triple-A, but double-A is normally thought of as the toughest minor league level in terms of pitching anyway. Basically, Bryant has dominated the best pitching he’s going to see short of the major leagues.
With the Cubs already out of the playoff picture and holding the worst record in all of MLB, they might as well let Bryant take his lumps now when the games don’t matter much. Based on how he’s played so far, those lumps might not even be so big.
Bringing Bryant up this month really wouldn’t be rushing him. He has a bat that was polished and refined by playing three years of collegiate baseball. While at San Diego, Bryant led the NCAA with 31 homers last season. Playing in far fewer games in college than in the pros, Bryant is capable of putting up 40 home runs a season. He should be launching those long balls onto Sheffield and Waveland, not in double-A.
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