Kris Bryant put up monster numbers at the University of San Diego before being drafted No. 2 overall by the Cubs last June and now he’s destroying minor-league pitching while making a quick path to the big leagues.
Last season Bryant hit .354 with a 1.108 OPS at low Single-A and then .333 with a 1.106 OPS at high Single-A. He’s at Double-A right now as a 22-year-old and has hit .331 with 10 homers, nine doubles, and a 1.061 OPS in 36 games to lead the Southern League in homers, slugging percentage, and OPS.
Add it all up and Bryant has played 72 professional games while hitting .333 with 19 homers, 23 doubles, 31 walks, six steals, and a 1.070 OPS. It’s gonna be awfully tough for the Cubs to keep the slugging third baseman out of the majors this season and he hasn’t even been a pro for a full year yet.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.