Kris Bryant entered play Saturday night 1-for-8 with three strikeouts, a RBI and a stolen base in Iowa’s first two games of the season. Bryant broke out in a big way in Iowa’s third game and helped the I-Cubs beat the Memphis Redbirds 13-0.
Kris Bryant went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, a walk, a sac fly, three RBI and three runs scored.
After three games, Bryant is 4-for-12 with a double, a home run, a walk, a stolen base and four RBI (.333/.357/.667) for a 1.024 OPS. Bryant has started all three games at third base.
Bryant’s blast in the ninth inning of Saturday’s game capped a three-hit night for the slugger. The ball reportedly traveled 402 feet over the wall in left.
According to the report from MLB.com, Bryant didn’t stick to his plan in the first two games and went out of the zone. Bryant told MLB.com that going into Saturday’s game he was going to be more patient and take what the Redbirds’ pitchers gave him.
Marty Pevey, Iowa’s manager, liked the hustle double Bryant collected in the fifth just as much as the home run. Pevey moved Bryant up to the third spot in the lineup after hitting clean-up in the first two games. Addison Russell also moved up one spot in the batting order. Russell hit second in Saturday’s game after batting third the two previous days.
The Kris Bryant Watch will only increase after his performance on Saturday night. The 2015 baseball season is seven days old, so the Cubs are past the halfway point of being able to gain the extra year of control on Bryant.
Kris Bryant is expected to see time in the outfield at some point after the front office feels he’s gotten settled in with Iowa.
Based on the front office’s history of bringing prospects up to make their Major League debut, the dates to keep an eye on are April 20 and April 24. The Cubs begin a seven-game road trip on April 20 in Pittsburgh. After four with the Pirates, the Cubs three-game series in Cincinnati begins on April 24.
As was the case throughout Spring Training, Kris Bryant took the headlines away from Addison Russell.
Russell is off to a good start in Iowa. Russell has hit safely in all three games. He went 1-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored in Saturday’s win. And Russell did not strikeout in the first three games.
Addison Russell is 4-for-13 on the young season with a double, a RBI and a walk (.308/.357/.385) for a .742 OPS.
Here is the double Russell hit Friday night.
As previously reported, the focus will quickly shift to Addison Russell once Bryant is called up. Russell is expected to see time at second base while in Triple-A. The Cubs have not said if their plan with Russell has changed with Javier Baez on leave to be with his family.