The Corner Stool: Bryant Quiets the Naysayers for Now
Bryant Bomb sends Cubs into first and silences his haters for another day.
Kris Bryant won’t need an ice bath after Tuesday night’s win against the pesky Miami Marlins. The slugging right-hander sent a 1-2 Adam Conley pitch deep into the night and was greeted with Gatorade bath complements of Baez and Rizzo. After coming off a disappointing loss yesterday, the Cubs looked to start another win streak with their ace on the mound. The seesaw battle continued until the ninth when then superstar third baseman walked it off.
Bryant has been a major question mark among the Cubs fanbase recently. As I scroll through social media outlets, a common post has startled me as a diehard Cubs fan. The word “trade” has been placed in front of his name far too much for my liking. Now, I don’t classify myself as a baseball expert, I just play one on television, but I have never heard a solid argument to sway my opinion that Kris Bryant will be a staple for this franchise for years to come.
Since Bryant has been called up, the Cubs have gone from loveable losers to a powerhouse in the National League. Bryant has been featured along with his wife frequently on the new Cubs YouTube channel to help grow the audience for the new network coming in 2020. He has also appeared around the city on Adidas billboards and in Express magazine ads as you walk into Wrigley Field. He has become a face around Chicago one can associate early success with. Many South Side fans have made the same comparisons in reference to Moncada and Jimenez as they hope for that same early success Bryant had. Building a solid base of talent is not easy and Kris is a homegrown gem that the Cubs have developed.
With a new network on the horizon, I expect KB to be compensated fairly as he will be relied upon to win multiple World Series and serve as a face of the organization. He’s a player the Cubs will have no problem paying strictly because they know how difficult it would be to replace him. With the revenue generated by the new network, the Cubs would be wise to give in to his demands.
While all this has been debated, Bryant has come to work during this Cubs win streak. He has been on a tear over the last seven days. In that span, he is batting .350 with an OPS of 1.450 and he has homered in each of the last three games. Early on in the year, I had noticed Kris was very late to the baseball. The Bryant from the past had a simple approach, using strength and leverage to drive the baseball out of the yard. In early April, the third baseman was overmatched when stepping in the box. His hands took over and it resulted in weak contact. Prior to today’s game, Joe Maddon chatted about Kris’s recent success and mentioned him going back to game film from 2016. He explained that with a few tweaks to his stance, he knew Kris could return to dominant form. This advice was on full display tonight. Bryant went into vintage 2016 mode as he drove that ball through the wind to send the Cubs home back in first place.
I believe the problem most see with Kris isn’t his statistics, but how quietly he posts his numbers. After careful calculations, I have come to the conclusion that if he keeps his 2019 pace, he will set career highs in doubles and walks. He will also hit roughly 30 home runs while driving in over 100 runs. So friends, let’s summarize: Kris Bryant isn’t going anywhere. He is really damn good and the Cubs will need every ounce of his talents to grow their brand. So while it may not seem like Kris makes an impact, he has consistently separated himself from the pack.
Featured Photo: NBCchicago.com