As the Rays’ manager Joe Maddon frequently moved players around to different positions defensively and it looks like he’s taking the same approach with the Cubs job, including asking No. 1 prospect Kris Bryant to spend some time in the outfield.
Bryant is a third baseman–and the reigning Baseball America minor league player of the year–but Maddon met with him Monday for the first time and afterward said:
He was very impressive and very mature for a kid of 23. He understands what he is doing really well. He is accepting of working in the outfield, very excepting of that. If you ask him, he would say he prefers to play third base. As a team member, he is prepared to go to the outfield.
Bryant will almost certainly begin the season at Triple-A, if only so the Cubs can delay the start of his service time enough to retain him for an extra pre-free agency season. Once he’s ready for a call-up, odds are he’ll be playing third base unless one of the guys keeping the position warm for him–probably Mike Olt or Tommy La Stella–get off to an amazing start.