Kris Bryant had a big pro debut after being drafted No. 2 overall by the Cubs in June, hitting .336 with nine homers and a 1.078 OPS in 36 games between three different levels in the low minors.
And the Cubs were so impressed by the former University of San Diego slugger that they’re leaning toward sending him to Double-A to begin this season, as scouting director Jason McLeod told Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago.
Once stud prospects reach Double-A the jump to the majors can happen in a hurry, particularly with teams often stocking Triple-A with veterans rather than prospects. In other words, don’t be surprised to see Bryant at Wrigley Field some time this summer.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.
Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.
Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.
Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.