By The Baseball Beginnings Guy
December 8, 2009
Kris Bryant has two valuable commodities going for him, both of which you cannot teach. One in his body type, which is long, tall and loose, and the other is his power. His power is all raw and his frequency is all in front of him. He’s going to be a good riser on the 2010 Draft charts and he is yet another product from Las Vegas, which sends us power-hitting corner infielders the way the Dominican Republic sends us shortstops.
The prediction here is that Bryant’s future body type is going to have a large bearing on exactly what kind of a professional hitter he becomes. He’s the classic modern amateur bat who will enter professional baseball without any standout skill as a defender. I’ve seen him take ground balls at third base and first base and he could still wind up in left field. If Bryant retains some of the slender qualities he has as a high school player and can play defense, you could see him projecting as a Troy Glaus-like major league player, which is what one scout predicted.
Bryant signed to play college baseball at the University of San Diego, where Rich Hill cashed in on five Aflac guys visiting his own backyard last summer. Hill has come a long way from the good old days of coaching Cal Lutheran when he was asking for the third best guy off each Marmonte League team and hoping Moorpark College had some fillers. Bryant would have a better chance of developing as a defender in college baseball than he would if he went directly into pro ball.
But on the flip side, Bryant is a guy who needs to see good pitching to develop. I put Adam Dunn on him because I believe Bryan’s raw power is going to be beastly. This kind of frame should have 40-home run major league power. Another decent comparison would be Richie Sexson. The Dunn prediction is also going on the way I saw Bryant swing in the summer. He is very armsy and likes to get extension, which, for that kind of player, is really what you want. Hitting with metal for the next three years won’t help him learn to stave off hard stuff on the inner-half with wood. As a pro, he’s going to see it from day one, and the only time it will end is when a pitcher screws up.
Glaus said no to the Padres in the second round after high school and went to UCLA. Dunn gave college football a whirl but never played college baseball. Each guy wound up being very similar to each other regardless of the path. Bryant’s path is his own, but I’m willing to bet that what we see from him as a major league player five or six years from now will look remarkably consistent with those prototypes.