Cubs third base prospect Kris Bryant is just about ready to become a major leaguer. If there were no service time stipulations to heed, he would likely start the season as the Cubs’ Opening Day third baseman, but instead, he’ll be with Triple-A Iowa.
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark will be monitoring how the Cubs handle Bryant and his service time, Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago reports.
“We have always (believed) – and will continue to believe – that it’s in everyone’s best interests to have the best players playing at any particular time,” Clark said. “Any rules that are in place that some may be using against the spirit of how they may have been designed, we don’t believe (that’s) in anyone’s best interest – the fans, or anyone that loves our games, the players, or even the clubs for that matter.
“We will continue – as we always have – to monitor those types of scenarios and situations in the hopes that everybody does what’s best for the game.”
Clubs often keep prospects in the minor leagues until late May or early June when they would otherwise have already been in the major leagues in order to maintain an extra year of control.
Bryant, 23, was rated a top-10 prospect by both MLB.com and Baseball America going into the 2014 season. He began 2014 with Double-A Tennessee for the first time, and posted a 1.160 OPS with 22 home runs and 58 RBI in 297 plate appearances. Bryant was promoted to Triple-A in June, and put up similar numbers: a 1.036 OPS with 21 home runs and 52 RBI in 297 PA.
The Cubs, who traded away third baseman Luis Valbuena to the Astros over the offseason, will use Mike Olt at the hot corner until Bryant is ready.