Okay, so I’m basically going to have to do a post for every Cubs prospect. They have me prospiqued. I’ve been knocked on the head and no one can find any smelling salts, so they’re holding Cubs prospects under my nose. A Nubian genie is offering me three wishes and I’m taking three Cubs prospects. I already gave you my Jorge Soler fantasy. Today, it’s Kris Bryant and his mollywhopping stick. Maybe next will be Addison Russell. (Can I get a Starlin Castro to Yankees trade already? You know you want to, Yanks.) Bryant has a mollywhopping stick like we haven’t seen since Big Sexy Richie Sexson. Last year at spring training, when I saw Bryant, I was impressed. Looked ready to hit a ball 5,000 feet like he was five hundred Cespedes standing in the batter’s box. When I say mollywhop, you say Bryant. Last year, he had 43 homers in the minors. Um, for those slow on the uptake, they don’t play as many games in the minor leagues. 43 homers in the minors is like 756 homers in 162 major league games for a new major league record (Barry Bonds who?). It wasn’t like Bryant hit for a sucky average either — .355 in Double-A and .295 in Triple-A. He does strikeout a decent amount and that might hurt his average a bit in the majors. Oh, and he has sneaky speed — 15 steals last year. Can I draft him 2nd overall for 2015 right now? I ask, politely. Anyway, what can we expect of Kris Bryant for 2015 fantasy baseball?
Power, power and…Shoot, where did I leave that third power? It’s not in my jorts pocket where I thought it was. Crap, it’s in the car. Okay, there was supposed to be a third power there, but I misplaced it. Let’s assume it’s there. My biggest concern with Bryant is his call-up date. If he was called up last year to get even the fewest at-bats, I wouldn’t be concerned. Epstein made the right choice for long-term consequences. Agree? Of course you do, you can resist me about as well as a Drake’s Yodel. So, why start him out of the gate in 2015? Seriously, I’m not sure there’s a reason. I know Cubs fans are a large legion with a long reach into the hypedom. They will be gossiping like a bunch of bitties in a BK lounge so much about how Bryant will be on the Opening Day roster that by April you will have sworn someone important actually said Bryant will start the year with the club. It will be a lot of noise. No one knows, but my guess is we won’t see Bryant until June 1st, thereabouts. I know, bummer. It’s like I’m selling deflated balloon animals. If Bryant isn’t up until June 1st, I’ll find it very hard to draft him in redraft mixed leagues. I just don’t believe in wasting a bench spot for two months on a lottery ticket. If anyone could hit 25 homers in only 4 months, it’s Giancarlo. If anyone else can do it, it’s Jose Abreu. Okay, if a third guy can do it, maybe Chris Davis. Hey, intern, is Bryant on this list? No? Ugh, thanks. Okay, maybe in an apple-pie-in-the-sky kind of way, Bryant can hit 25 homers in four months. That seems slightly bizzonkers. Now to slightly backtrack, if Bryant is on the Opening Day roster, I would draft him in every league. I could even see drafting him everywhere for the chance the Cubs surprise and start him out of the gate. He’ll probably end up droppable though once he’s sent down to start the year. If he’s up on June 1st, I’ll give him the projections of 42/19/54/.256/3. If he’s on the Opening Day roster, I’d add another seven homers and 20-ish runs and RBIs. 19 homers in four months is still huge, and there’s obviously upside here. Perhaps the best thing we can hope for is Oprah buys the club, thinks Kris Bryant is a woman, kicks Gayle King to the curb and promotes Bryant to see what she can do. That does seem likely now that I write it out.