Let’s all just stare at Kris Bryant’s numbers for a while

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In preparation for 23-year-old Cubs uber-prospect Kris Bryant’s long-awaited MLB debut this afternoon let’s all just stare at his final minor-league numbers, which were compiled in 181 total games spent mostly at Double-A and Triple-A:

– .327 batting average
– .426 on-base percentage
– .667 slugging percentage
– 55 home runs
– 49 doubles
– 107 extra-base hits
– 152 RBIs
– 147 runs scored
– 18 stolen bases
– 99 walks
– 206 strikeouts

For those curious, here are the highest OPS totals by a 23-year-old third baseman since 1960:

1.008 – Troy Glaus, 2000
1.004 – Ryan Braun, 2007
.998 – Miguel Cabrera, 2006
.965 – Gary Sheffield, 1992
.923 – Scott Rolen, 1998
.912 – David Wright, 2006
.889 – Evan Longoria, 2009
.885 – Aramis Ramirez, 2001
.878 – Eric Chavez, 2001
.870 – Dick Allen, 1965

Based on the incredible hype attached to Bryant a lot of people will probably be disappointed if he turns into, say, the next Troy Glaus instead of the next Mike Schmidt, but either way I’m just glad to have all the hot takes about service time manipulation put away until the next great prospect is ready for a call-up.

My gut-feel prediction for Bryant’s career is that he’ll hit for crazy power, post good but not great batting averages because of high strikeout rates, and make 10 or so All-Star teams.

Braves sign reliever Will Smith to three-year, $39 million contract

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The Braves announced on Thursday that the club has inked lefty reliever Will Smith to a three-year, $39 million contract with a club option for the 2023 season worth $13 million. Smith received a qualifying offer worth $17.8 million from the Giants, so he opted for a lower average annual value for a longer contract.

Smith, 30, was an All-Star last season with the Giants, finishing with 34 saves, a 2.76 ERA, and a 96/21 K/BB ratio across 65 1/3 innings. Across parts of seven seasons in the majors, he has a 3.53 ERA.

Smith, the top free agent left-handed reliever, will join a strong Braves bullpen which already includes Mark Melancon, Shane Greene, and Sean Newcomb.