Watson: Pitchers putting rookie Kris Bryant in rare class

From SABR member Owen Watson at FoxSports.com on May 12, 2015:

Kris Bryant finally did it. After not hitting a home run in 20 games following his call-up, he went out on Saturday in Milwaukee and clubbed a Kyle Lohse slider 389 feet out to left-center. The homer was the one number conspicuously missing from his season statistics, but it was always coming: the 23-year-old put up famous power numbers in the minor leagues, he’s been hitting inside fastballs to the warning track in right-center, and there was nothing telling that anything was wrong. Part of his power drought was surely his ongoing adjustment to major-league pitching, something all rookies have to contend with. However, his treatment by pitchers so far shows just how unique Bryant might be, and puts him in a rare class of hitters.

Unsurprisingly, there was something special about the home run Bryant hit, beyond it being the first of many in his career.


There are a few things to note: It was a slider, it was on the first pitch of the at-bat and it was over the outer third of the plate. It caught more of the strike zone than Lohse wanted, but it wasn’t the worst hanging slider anyone has seen. This serves first and foremost as a reminder that Bryant is very talented at hitting baseballs. It also informs us of the approach we’ve seen pitchers use when attacking Bryant so far in his young career, and the adjustments he needs to make in order to be successful at this level.

Read the full article here: http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/story/chicago-cubs-kris-bryant-first-home-run-plate-discipline-pitch-approach-051115

Originally published: May 12, 2015. Last Updated: May 12, 2015.