A Shot In The Dark: Should Cubs Give Bryant a Shot in 2014?

This year the Cubs are getting a decent amount of production out of their 3rd base line of Luis Valbuena, Cody Ransom, and Donnie Murphy. They are ranked third in all of baseball in home runs with 22, which for a team who didn’t have a third baseman coming into the season is not to shabby. Even though it is nice that they are filling the void of Aramis Ramirez’s numbers, you can’t expect to rely on three guys to give that production every single year, especially since it would limit roster availability. This, then, raises the question of who is going to take the left corner infield spot when the 2014 season arrives. According to Jesse Rodgers, the Cubs should give Kris Bryant a chance to man that position next year. In his blog he states,  “Bryant Should Be Cubs’ Starting 3B in 2014.” This quote was also seen, and discussed, in the Bleacher Nation blog, who gives another take on this subject. I don’t even have to read Rodgers post to already disagree with the entire idea. The biggest question that I would ask is, what’s the point? Do we really need him that quickly and hurt his chances of developing? No, the Cubs need to let their number 2 draft pick develop into the kind of player they know, for sure, will dominate MLB pitching. Skipping from High A Daytona straight to the majors will put all the added pressures of living up to his potential into jeopardy, even before he has time to harness them. Some might say that he is ready for the call, that his patients at the plate, ability to walk, as well as recognize pitches would translate well to major league pitching. I think that it is very possible that it could all work out for Bryant and he would start producing as the Cubs long term every day third baseman, but even if there is a chance that he could fail, why risk it? He only has 23 games under his belt in the minors and hasn’t had a chance to struggle yet. So, if he were to be the Cubs third baseman in 2014 and he struggles, then we might end up with another Castro situation. Mind you, Bryant is a little more slump proof and better polished then Castro was when he was called up, but I still don’t see why the big rush. Yes, I would love to see the Cubs win a few more games, and yes I think that Bryant would be an improvement over the choices we have now, but the Cubs still wont contend in 2014. As everyone expected this season, the Cubs are not doing as well as everyone would have liked, and it seems like that will be the case next year as well. So, even is Bryant is ready for the majors, or not, the Cubs wont be ready for him. What I mean is the Cubs don’t have the pieces yet to contend in their division and won’t do so until 2015 or beyond. So, letting Bryant develop into a super prospect which the Cubs could call on when the time is right, would be the best situation for the Cubs. Let him figure out the little bumps down in the minors now so when he does come up, he will have the ability to break out of slumps much faster, which will translate to better production in the long run.

-SR

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