Here's a taste of the Kris Bryant college scouting report that predicted future stardom
Kris Bryant's scouting report predicted stardom
When he wasn't belting out hit Disney songs, Kris Bryant spent his rookie 2015 season hitting.275/.369/.488 with 26 homers and winning the hearts and minds of baseball fans at the tender age of 23.
Bryant was drafted second overall in 2013 and was a two-time top-10 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, so the early success is hardly a surprise. In fact, Bryant's promise extended back to his college days at the University of San Diego.
Here's how he looked at the time:
The Major League Scouting Bureau produced a report for MLB teams in early 2013 and, well, let's just let the grades do the talking.
For a hitter to adapt so well with both power and patience as a rookie, he needs to exude confidence and maturity. With all the "Excellents," it's as if Mr. Burns was scouting Bryant.
Also worth noting: While most batters tend to slow down as they get older, the scout in 2013 timed Bryant at 4.53 seconds going home to first, Bryant was measured by Statcast at 4.26 seconds beating out this infield single in 2015, meaning he's actually improved his speed as a professional.
But the real insights, as always, come from the grades. It's why you're here, it's why Bryant's in the Majors and it's why everything I do in life is rated from 2-8. (Ooh, this hot pocket is a solid 3.)
Now, a big thing to remember is since Bryant just finished his rookie year, he is likely still developing and will have adjustments to make in the future as pitchers alter their gameplans against him. But with all that said, this is an All-Star's scouting report and Bryant may have even surpassed these lofty expectations.
And Bryant is likely only getting better.
Bryant's 5 grade hitting tool just about predicted his .275 average and that "big swing" was a large contributor to his rookie record for strikeouts in a season with 199. But Bryant may end up surpassing his even lofty scouting reports -- he hit .327 in the Minors and chased pitches out of the zone only 30.7 percent of the time this year. That number put him in the same range as players like Buster Posey and Carlos Beltran, who traditionally balance power, patience and a high batting average.
As for his power, the 7 grade is equal to about 30-35 home runs. In his 151-game first season, Bryant nearly reached that with 26 long balls -- including the Majors' longest in 2015.
In the field, the "sound defensive actions" and "confident hands" mentioned in Bryant's report helped him appear at five positions this season. Though this clearly wasn't Bryant's calling card in getting to the Majors, the advanced metrics tend to say he's average to slightly above at every position. And with a strong arm and soft hands, he occasionally finds a way to pull this off:
When the scout made a Major League comparison to Troy Glaus, they pretty much nailed that, too. From 2000-08, Glaus hit .259/.366/.513 with an average of 30 HRs per season. Look at Bryant's rookie season and tell me they don't look like that.
The overall package? Well, I can't say it any better than the scout did back in 2013: