Cubs top prospect Kris Bryant ended his Double-A career by winning the Home Run Derby at the All-Star game and last night he started his Triple-A career by homering in his first game.
Bryant went opposite field for a two-run homer, giving him 23 long balls in 69 total games this season between the two levels. And if you toss in his numbers in the low minors last year, plus his numbers at the University of San Diego before being drafted No. 2 overall last June, he’s got 63 homers in 167 games dating back to the start of 2013.
So far the Cubs’ front office has given every indication that Bryant will not be promoted to the big leagues this year, but it’s worth noting that as recently as two weeks ago they were also hinting pretty strongly that they had no plans to even promote him from Double-A to Triple-A. Hitting like he has–.353 with a 1.161 OPS overall–tends to change some plans.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.
Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.
Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.