The city of Chicago has seen its fare share of great players throughout the four major sports. On the diamond, the city has already been graced by the next generation with Jose Abreu slugging home runs for the Chicago White Sox. The next great player the city will need to get accustomed to just may be the Chicago Cubs‘ minor league phenom Kris Bryant. Ever since joining the Cubs’ organization, Bryant’s hype has continued to grow at every level. The latest of which came during the All-Star festivities being held for the Southern League the past few days.
During the Southern League Home Run Derby, Bryant knocked out 16 home runs on his way to winning the Derby crown. While it was just an exhibition, Bryant was able to display his raw talent and power during the contest like he has done at each of his stops during the past year. Perhaps it was just a fluke? Not exactly. For the Class-AA Tennessee Smokies, Bryant on the year has already belted 22 home runs with 58 RBIs and a .355 batting average, which leads the Southern League in all three categories. Bryant is making his progression look simply easy.
Over the last calendar year, Bryant’s resume has been built beyond belief. The accolades that he has acquired are simply astonishing for a player his age. While a 2014 MLB debut may still be out of the question for Bryant, his production is becoming increasingly difficult to not pencil him into the big league lineup sooner rather than later. The Cubs’ front office has been adamant about prospects within the organization following a plan and developing to their fullest at each level. The only thing that is really holding Bryant back is on the defensive side. Bryant has committed 14 errors on the season thus far, which does raise an eyebrow.
Still with every long ball hit, either during a game or at a derby, the excitement and hype continues to grow for one of the Cubs’ top prospects. Bryant is one of the reasons to get excited for the future of the Cubs. For every great thing that Abreu has accomplished thus far for the Sox, Bryant is showing he is equally as capable of doing similar things for the Cubs. Abreu is setting the bar impressively high for the Cubs’ top guns. But, Bryant has proven that there are not very many things that are out of his reach on the diamond.
Nick Schaeflein is a Chicago Cubs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.