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Kris Bryant was the top amateur player in baseball in 2013, then he won the Arizona Fall League MVP the same year. He was the consensus minor league player of the year in 2014, and he was, without question, the most dominant hitter in the Cactus League this spring.
Thus, no one should be surprised to see him doing stuff like this at Triple-A...
That's an opposite-field missile right there.
Bryant homered in back-to-back games over the weekend for the Iowa Cubs, driving in six runs along the way. We're five games into the season, and he's 8-for-21 with three extra-base hits and one steal (and two errors at third base). The service-time hurdle will be cleared on Friday, so there's a chance we'll see Bryant at Wrigley by the weekend.
If that happens ... well, we assume you know what to do. Prepare to activate.
Addison Russell, Bryant's Iowa teammate, has been raking as well, carrying his excellent spring performance (.317/.349/.488) into the regular season. Russell is currently 7-for-22 with five runs scored, one homer and zero strikeouts. Whenever the Bryant Watch ends, Russell Watch begins. The shortstop seems more likely to be a mid/late-summer add for Chicago, however, assuming he isn't a trade chip.
And while we're talking about baseball's elite prospects...
• Byron Buxton just had a 4-for-6 day at Double-A, with a double and triple included. Buxton presumably isn't as close to the bigs as Bryant, as he played only 31 games last season due to injury. If you intend to stash-and-hold with Buxton, it could be quite a wait before he reaches Minnesota. But he has plenty of speed and respectable pop, and he's a career .299/.387/.486 hitter in the minors. Buxton absolutely destroyed the Midwest League at age 19, slashing .341/.431/.559 with 32 steals and 33 XBHs in 270 at-bats. He's not blocked by anyone intimidating in the majors, obviously.
• White Sox pitching prospect Carlos Rodon struck out nine batters over five frames for Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday, mixing his high-90s fastball with an evil slider and change. Check the tape. Rodon won't be stewing in the minors terribly long, in all likelihood; the Sox expect to compete this year, and he'd be a significant upgrade over the arms at the back of their rotation.
• A's first base prospect Matt Olson went 3-for-5 on Monday, swatting his second homer of the season for Double-A Midland. At a time when power is down, Olson offers an uncommon blend of pop and on-base ability. He cleared the fence 37 times last season at Single-A, drawing 117 walks and scoring 111 runs. So far this year, he has as many walks as Ks (4). Nice long-term option for dynasty gamers.
• Andrew Heaney was excellent in his first start at Triple-A Salt Lake, striking out eight over 7.0 innings, issuing no walks and allowing just two hits. Heaney had a mostly miserable spring for the Angels, but he closed with 5.1 no-hit innings against the Dodgers' varsity roster on April 3.