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.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: