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Kris Bryant’s 3-Strikeout Debut Shows Even Freaks of Nature Need Time to Adjust

April 17, 2015 by Jason Catania · Leave a Comment 

Top prospect Kris Bryant, who made his major league debut Friday afternoon for the Chicago Cubs, is going to be a stud. He just didn't look the part in his first shot at The Show. Big whoop. Bryant, whose massive potential and prodigious power have captured the baseball world recently, more or less has not stopped hitting between the minors, Arizona Fall League and this past spring training since being selected second overall in the 2013 draft. His career slash line in the minors prior to his call-up? Try .327/.426/.667. His 43 home runs between Double- and Triple-A last year led all ...

Kris Bryant Roster Cut Is an MLB Problem, Not a Cubs Problem

March 30, 2015 by Jason Catania · Leave a Comment 

Kris Bryant, arguably the best prospect in baseball and inarguably the crusher of more home runs than any other player this spring training, will start the 2015 season in the minor league. But don't blame the Chicago Cubs—blame Major League Baseball. After all, it's the rules that made this decision entirely inevitable and anything but surprising. The Cubs announced Monday they had sent Bryant to minor league camp despite his ridiculous .425/.477/1.175 triple-slash line and, count 'em, nine homers. Bryant could have batted 1.000 and hit a home run every time up, and still, the 23-year-old righty slugger would have begun the regular season in Iowa instead ...

How the Cubs Should Handle the Unleashing of Uber-Prospect Kris Bryant

January 27, 2015 by Jason Catania · Leave a Comment 

The Kris Bryant era in Chicago will begin in 2015. The question is: When? Or alternatively: How soon? In the wake of the Chicago Cubs' acquisition last week of center fielder Dexter Fowler, in which they sent young righty Dan Straily and incumbent third baseman Luis Valbuena to the Houston Astros, speculation already has begun that such a move cleared the path at the hot corner for Bryant, arguably baseball's best prospect. That's not how the Cubs decision-makers see it, however—at least, according to what they're saying publicly. "When we think Kris is ready to come up to the big leagues, we’ll make ...

Cubs’ Hype-Filled Roster Still at Least a Year Away from MLB Success

December 17, 2014 by Jason Catania · Leave a Comment 

It's possible, likely even, that in the long and storied history of Major League Baseball, there has never been a team coming off five consecutive losing seasons with more hype surrounding it than the Chicago Cubs have right now. All the hope and expectations are justified to an extent. It's been a busy offseason already, kicked off by the surprising hiring of manager Joe Maddon, furthered by the return of right-hander Jason Hammel and the trade for veteran backstop Miguel Montero and capped (at least so far) by the $155 million splurge on ace left-hander Jon Lester during the winter meetings. No doubt: ...

New Chicago Cubs Offseason Checklist Following Joe Maddon Hire

November 4, 2014 by Jason Catania · Leave a Comment 

The Chicago Cubs got their man and their manager. By hiring skipper Joe Maddon, a move that became a reality with Monday's introductory press conference, the franchise kicked off what looks to be a busy and productive offseason as the club embarks on the next stage of a long rebuilding process and return to relevance—and perhaps even the postseason—sooner than later. Just ask Maddon himself. "For me, I'm going to be talking playoffs next year," Maddon said via Joey Nowak of MLB.com. "We're going to set our mark high, and I'm going to talk playoffs and World Series this year, and I'm ...

Just How Good Can Cubs’ Cuban Outfield Phenom Jorge Soler Be?

August 28, 2014 by Jason Catania · Leave a Comment 

Amid yet another losing season, a streak that soon will run to five straight, the Chicago Cubs unveiled yet another new toy Wednesday night: top prospect Jorge Soler. A 22-year-old native of Cuba, Soler made his much-anticipated major league debut against the Cincinnati Reds and did so with some flair, homering in his very first plate appearance in the bigs. "I'm real, real happy about it," Soler told Carrie Muskat of MLB.com after the game. "First time in the big leagues, first at-bat. I was very excited and happy about that." This is the swing—his first-ever as a Cub—that brought out those feelings: Soler joined fellow ...

Mega-Prospect Kris Bryant’s Huge Stats Putting Pressure on Cubs to Call Him Up

June 13, 2014 by Jason Catania · Leave a Comment 

It's hard to blame Chicago Cubs fans, really. After all, they've had to wait what is now going on 106 years for their team to win a World Series. And now that the team sports one of baseball's best farms systems, fans are more or less being told that they have to wait a little bit longer—amid what's shaping up to be a sixth straight losing season—before they get to watch any of their premier prospects make it to the North Side. Indeed, the Cubs are overflowing with young offensive talent in the minors, including shortstop Javier Baez, second baseman Arismendy ...

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