Cubs fans have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Kris Bryant hit his first major league home run on Saturday against the Brewers.
There will surely be many to follow for the Cubs’ young star, but the initial home run is always a special moment for any big league player. It also often results in the “silent treatment” when the player returns to the dugout. Teammates act as if nothing happened with no congratulatory high fives, handshakes, or pats on the helmet taking place, for a few seconds atleast. Then, everyone celebrates as is customary.
When Bryant returned to the dugout after his first home run, no one gave him the silent treatment, because no one was there. The dugout was empty.
Now that’s taking it to the next level.
Chicago Cubs uber prospect Kris Bryant made his MLB debut on Friday and it did not go as he hoped.
Though Bryant played well in the field, he was 0-for-4 at the plate with three strikeouts. That was just a minor speed bump for Bryant, who led all players with nine home runs in spring training and all of the minor leagues with 43 home runs last season.
Some fans, though, have no patience for a developing slugger. One could be heard yelling, “You suck!” at Bryant after his third strikeout of the game.
Of course, maybe the fan was just yelling at the umpire for blowing key calls.
I dunno, buddy, but players who can make gems like this on defense probably don’t suck.
Kris Bryant sent a fantastic tweet on Thursday after receiving a phone call from the Chicago Cubs informing him that the team would be calling him up to the majors on Friday.
Bryant described it as his “dream” coming true:
Bryant is the top prospect in baseball and has been one of the top power hitters at every level he has played the past few years. He became the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 draft after leading all college players with 31 home runs at USD that season. Last year he hit a combined 43 home runs while splitting his season between Double and Triple-A. Then this spring he hit nine home runs to lead all players in spring training.
Though Bryant appeared ready to shine in the bigs, the Cubs sent him down to the minor leagues to start the season in order to take advantage of a loophole in the collective bargaining agreement. The specific rule says that a player receives a full year of service time if he’s in the majors for 172 days out of the 183-day season. The Cubs kept Bryant down the first 11 days of the season in order to prevent him from receiving credit for the full year of service time. That ensures the Cubs will retain his rights through the 2021 season. Had Bryant opened the season with the Cubs, he would have qualified for free agency after the 2020 season. The Cubs wisely decided that sacrificing 11 days without Bryant to start the season was worth having him for an extra season.
We speak for baseball fans everywhere (well, except for in the rest of the NL Central) when we say we are stoked for this big day and cannot wait to see what Bryant does!
The Cubs get their 2015 season underway on Sunday when they welcome the Cardinals to Wrigley Field. Unfortunately, Kris Bryant won’t be there as he will begin the year in Triple-A. Thankfully, Adidas took the opportunity to remind Cubs fans Bryant will be in Chicago sooner rather than later by putting a billboard near Wrigley Field.
Adidas summed up the photos by writing “Minor wait. Major talent.” on its baseball Twitter account.
Bryant was among the more talked about players during spring training for a couple of reasons. First, his performance on the field was outstanding. In 14 games, Bryant hit .425 with nine home runs and 15 RBI. Then, there was the business decision the Cubs made, which did not sit well with Bryant’s agent or the MLB Players Association.
Chicago optioned Bryant to the minor leagues in order to delay when he would begin accruing major league service time. Manipulating the start date will allow the Cubs to delay when Bryant can become a free agent by one year, giving the team an extra season with him under their control.
Bryant should be wearing Cubs pinstripes shortly after the club’s 10th game of the season, which would qualify as a “minor wait” in the grand scheme of the marathon that is the MLB season. Cubs fans will just have to exercise a little patience until their immensely talented prospect is hitting home runs over the ivy covered walls.
Photo via: Twitter/adidasBaseball
Kris Bryant is the hottest new thing in baseball and is on track to become one of the faces of MLB as soon as the Chicago Cubs call him up to the bigs.
Bryant has some incredible gifts. He clubbed 54 home runs in three seasons at USD in college, including 31 in his junior season, which led the Cubs to draft him second overall in 2013. Since then all he’s done is tear through the minors by batting .327 with 52 home runs in 172 games.
Not only does Bryant have the power that would rival former Cubs superstar Sammy Sosa, but he also has the looks of Zac Efron, which is just an unfair combination. But don’t think that his success on the diamond or his looks have gotten to his head; Bryant is very grounded and is still together with his same girlfriend from high school, Jessica Delp.
Bryant and Delp both are from Las Vegas and attended Bonanza High School, where Bryant starred in baseball and Delp played basketball and softball. The two graduated in 2010 but have been together since the end of their sophomore years in high school. Later this month they will be celebrating their seventh anniversary.
While Bryant was in Southern California for college at USD, Delp studied at UNLV. She graduated with a degree in psychology and works in retail, though she spends a lot of time visiting Bryant while he’s in season. She has been with him all throughout spring training this year. The two seem to be a pretty active couple and frequently go hiking, visit theme parks and other attractions while spending time together.
Between his natural ability, seemingly humble personality, and his choice to remain with his high school sweetheart, Bryant reminds us a lot of Mike Trout. Trout has been together with his girlfriend Jessica Cox since high school. Being with the right girl and free of drama has a lot to do with an athlete’s success, and we have no doubt that is the case with Bryant.
Below are many photos of Bryant and girlfriend Jessica Delp together:
In a move that didn’t come as much of a surprise, the Cubs made the decision that one of baseball’s top prospects, Kris Bryant, will start the 2015 season in the minor leagues. Bryant has been the talk of spring training thus far, hitting nine home runs in just 14 games this month. While his play would appear to indicate he should break camp with the major league club, the Cubs opted to make a business decision.
If Bryant remains in the minors until April 17, the Cubs can bring him up and add him to the 40-man roster, which would begin the process of Bryant accruing service time at that point. From then until the end of the season, Bryant would accrue 171 days of service. 172 days is considered a full season. Bryant coming up short of that mark would delay when he can become a free agent by one year, giving the Cubs an extra season with him under their control they wouldn’t have if he was on the opening day roster.
This has been a hot button topic throughout spring training with Scott Boras (Bryant’s agent) ripping the Cubs over their handling of his client. After finding out of Chicago’s decision on Monday, the Major League Baseball Players Association also declared its unhappiness with the Cubs’ decision.
With the Cubs having brought in Joe Maddon, Jon Lester, Dexter Fowler, and Miguel Montero during the offseason, there is a sense of optimism around the Cubs that has been absent in recent years. A franchise that has been methodically building for the future is entering a window where it believes it can win now.
The soonest Kris Bryant can be recalled to make his major league debut would be for the 10th game of the season. Could Bryant have helped the team win one of its first nine games? It’s highly possible. For what is projected to be a very competitive National League Central division, a handful of games may be the difference between making or missing the playoffs this year. However, the Cubs will now have one of the game’s potential stars for one more of his prime years, when he will presumably be much better and likely making even more of an impact.
Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant is considered by many to be the No. 1 prospect in baseball, yet a team that has not won more than 75 games since 2009 has yet to allow him to make his Major League debut. This has infuriated his agent, the legendary Scott Boras.
During an interview with Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports on Tuesday, Boras unloaded on the Cubs for being more concerned about money than winning.
“You are damaging the ethics and brand of Major League Baseball,” Boras said. “Kris Bryant has extraordinary skills. Kris Bryant is a superstar. He has distinguished himself from all players at every level he’s played.
“Everybody in baseball is saying he’s a major-league player ready for the big leagues. I have players call me. Executives call me. The Cubs’ people want him there. Everyone says, ‘They cannot send this guy down.’ It’s too obvious.”
Bryant, 23, has been on fire during spring training. He already has a league-best six home runs to go along with 30 total bases, a .435 batting average, .500 on-base percentage and 1.304 slugging percentage. The third baseman belted 43 home runs in the minors last season.
Boras believes the Cubs are delaying Bryant’s MLB debut to save arbitration money and prevent him from becoming a free agent a year earlier.
“This isn’t a system choice. This isn’t a mandate,” Boras said. “This is a flat ownership decision. Do they really want to win here?”
As Nightengale notes, the Cubs feel Bryant’s defense could benefit from more time in Triple-A. He is also recovering from some shoulder fatigue that has prevented him from playing third base for several days. According to Cubs president Theo Epstein, the decision to leave Bryant off the opening day roster has to do with baseball and nothing else.
Bryce Harper is the latest to sound off on behalf of Kris Bryant.
Bryant is one of the top prospects in MLB (if not the top prospect), and the 2013 No. 2 pick by the Cubs is battling for a spot on the big league team. He certainly appears to have proven his case by clubbing six home runs in 20 at-bats during spring training, while hitting .450. That’s in addition to bashing 43 home runs in his first full season of pro ball last year, one in which he split time between Double and Triple-A.
After seeing that Bryant homered TWICE on Saturday, Harper sent the following tweet:
The tweet continues the trend of Harper supporting fellow Las Vegas athletes/teams, like he has done in the past.
The question of whether Bryant will open camp with the Cubs has been one of the most persistent ones all offseason and spring. The thinking has been that Chicago might keep Bryant down in the minors to start the season in order to delay his major league service time clock from beginning, which would keep him from reaching free agency a year early. The Nationals did the same thing to Harper, so he knows all about that practice.
While we understand the Cubs’ desire to prevent Bryant from reaching free agency a year early and potentially achieving “Super Two” status, keeping him in the minors to start the season could rob them of a difference-maker on their big league team. And with their stated goal of trying to win the division, you figure they would want to have their best lineup out there when the season begins. However, if keeping Bryant down in the minors for two weeks means they get him for an extra season, I think the math adds up there.