Cameron: Kris Bryant, and floor versus ceiling

From Dave Cameron at FanGraphs on April 17, 2015:

Merry Krismas, Chicago; Kris Bryant‘s defense magically improved in the exact amount of minor league games it took for the Cubs to delay his free agency by a year. With that remarkable coincidence act of theatre out of the way, the Cubs can now acknowledge that Bryant is not only their best third baseman, but one of their best big league players. And so today begins the Kris Bryant Era in Chicago.

Chris Mitchell has already written up the KATOH system’s expectations for Bryant, and as you’d expect, a model based on Bryant’s minor league performances think he’s going to be quite good. After all, few players have torn up minor league hitting the way Bryant has; including his stint in the AFL, Bryant has hit .331/.430/.671, good for a 195 wRC+. Kris Bryant can hit, and when he hits, the baseball goes a long way.

That profile is why he’s the consensus top prospect in baseball, and why there’s so much hype surrounding his call-up. Bryant isn’t some toolsy athlete in low-A ball that could be great in three years, or a flame-throwing ace who could rack up the strikeouts until his arm explodes; he’s a college-polished slugger who already projects as one of the best third baseman in baseball, even before he plays a big league game. As prospects go, Bryant is a very low-risk talent, as it would take a minor disaster for him to not be at least reasonably productive for the Cubs in 2015 and beyond.

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Originally published: April 17, 2015. Last Updated: April 17, 2015.