Chicago Cubs: Be Patient with Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Chicago Cubs. Theo Epstein has done a phenomenal job adding young pieces and restocking the farm system. Now is the time for fantasy owners to enjoy the spoils of the young talent. Jorge Soler, Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez and more have the ability to impact fantasy teams for 2015 and beyond.

Kris Bryant

Fantasy owners must be ready to wait on Kris Bryant. He will start the season in the minor leagues, however, it won’t be for long. The Cubs simply have to wait 12 days into the season to bring Bryant up. Doing so will allow them to add another year before arbitration kicks in. With Bryant being a Scott Boras client, waiting the 12 days is even more advantageous. Boras clients tend to be difficult when it comes to signing new deals.

For this season, expecting Bryant to be a monster is an easy thing to do. He has been a highly thought-of prospect for some time and has turned Spring Training into his personal home run derby. Through his first 11 games of spring training, he has hit an eye popping 9 home runs. Unfortunately, in previous seasons, some of the other names to produce similar numbers have failed to produce anywhere near the same numbers when the games started counting.

While Bryant looks every bit the part of a MLB superstar, often times players take a couple of seasons to get to reach the level they are expected to reach. Pitchers will learn the best ways to attack Bryant. He will need to be patient and learn to adjust. Fantasy owners should expect a streaky player with cold slumps. While the future is very, very bright with Bryant, taking him as a top 100-ish player is too aggressive. He is a player I will try and target in a cold spell during the season, especially in keeper or dynasty formats.

Jorge Soler

Jorge Soler is ready to explode! (Getty Images)

Jorge Soler

Bryant’€™s teammate, Jorge Soler, is one of my favorite players for this season. He has all the tools to be special and will start the season on the opening day roster. His position in the lineup will not be in question. Hitting 20-ish home runs and 80-plus RBI’s are in play for Soler. Owners should expect a .260 batting average but he has .280-ish upside. The extra 20 batting average points would be a real difference maker for owners in 2015.

Arismendy Alcantara

Arismendy Alcantara has multi-position eligibility, which is a plus, but may be the odd man out this season in Chicago. If given a full compliment of at bats, he could be a strong fantasy option with speed. However, his inability to create consistent contact is a problem. He also struck out almost in almost a third of plate appearances last season.

Javier Baez

Javier Baez is another young Cub who has tons of potential but enters 2015 with more questions than answers. Baez is another guy who strikes out far too often; almost 45% of the time in his rookie season. While he likely will start the season in the minors, the potential for him to right back with the big club is very real. He has power a plenty, especially for a middle infield option. 20 home runs is in play even if he doesn’t start the season in the majors.

Addison Russell, Albert Almora and Kyle Schwarber

Addison Russell is much more likely a 2016 option instead of this season, but is very intriguing. Owners in keeper or dynasty leagues may want to jump on him before his price sky rockets. However, his timetable could adjust if Baez or Alcantra struggle this season. He’s also likely to be in trade discussions if it allows the Cubs to land an elite arm like Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke or David Price.

Almora and Schwarber are two other guys in the Cubs system that are worth keeping an eye on. They are both players dynasty owners should target. Schwarber will likely end up at a different position in the majors.


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