Have a Day, Kris Bryant
The accumulated stats will eventually tell Kris Bryant’s full story, but the introduction has been pretty exciting so far. And he went a long way toward getting himself onto the best-seller list with a huge performance on a national stage Saturday evening.
Wearing a star-spangled jersey, Bryant provided a prelude to the evenings fireworks by launching two mortars into the left-field bleachers off of Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart. The first came on a first-pitch 98 mph fastball that caught way too much of the plate and the second on a 96 mph heater on a 3-1 count and the bases loaded. I understand that you don’t want to walk in a run, but I’d advise other NL pitchers to avoid taking a similar tack with this kid.
On second thought, fire away with your middle-in fastballs. Throw them each and every time, believing that may yours is the one this superstar in the making can’t catch up to. Just watch his smooth and easy swing and tell yourself that it’s too slow to hit major league heat. Yeah, do that. I hope it works out really well for you.
Oh, and on the topic of his easy swing, I’m thinking Bryant is generating plenty of power. Those homers yesterday left the barrel of his bat at 103 and 104 mph, respectively.
For the season, Bryant is now hitting .278/.381/.486 with a team-leading 49 RBI. But as good as he is, Bryant still has some work to do; I mean, he doesn’t even have as many intentional walks as Jonathan Herrera. Seriously though, this man is quickly becoming the face of the Cubs. Anthony Rizzo is still the heart and soul of the team, but Bryant is the one who’s going to draw the most publicity.
It’ll be nice to have that type of exposure for the Cubs once again, the kind of player who is instantly recognizable to more than just blue-clad fans. Even if that means watching more of their games on FOX and ESPN, I’m willing to trade a little bit of my sanity for the idea that the Cubs are competitive and relevant again.
In case you were busy yesterday or haven’t seen the highlights, enjoy the videos below. I particularly love seeing Christian Yelich going all statue and just standing there as the first pitch sailed well over his head. I’m sure that made Cosart feel even better about it.