Instead it was Kris Bryant, a third baseman from the University of San Diego.
Bryant, who also can play the outfield, is widely regarded as the top position player in the draft and by some the top player in all of the draft. He hit 31 home runs in 228 AB’s last year for USD, which led all of Division I by a whopping ten home runs. Cubs Vice President of Scouting Jason McLeod had this to say about Bryant:
“Kris had an incredible season at San Diego, hitting for both power and average. He is a big, strong, athletic player, and we feel he has the attributes of someone who could fit into the middle of a lineup at the major league level. He has the ability to hit for average along with power to all parts of the park.”
This season Bryant hit .329. He also added 13 doubles, 3 triples and drove in 62 runs in 62 games. He was a big reason as to why San Diego earned a three seed in their regional.
Bryant is the first college player the Cubs have taken in the first round since Hayden Simpson in 2010, who hasn’t panned out so well.
The Cubs potential future lineup is a very intimidating one that could consist of top prospects Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Brett Jackson in addition to Bryant. Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Welington Castillo could also be part of the picture. The pick of Bryant also possibly gives the Cubs four right handed hitters in the top 30 prospects in all of baseball. The selection of Bryant is a positive sign for the Cubs future, and is exciting news for a team going through a rough season.