There are plenty of new bats in the National League Central. The St. Louis Cardinals added Jason Heyward to play right field and hit atop their lineup. The Cincinnati Reds added Marlon Byrd to their roster. The Pittsburgh Pirates added two wild cards in Jung Ho Kang and Corey Hart, both of whom have big offensive potential. But there will not be a new bat more feared in the division than Chicago Cubs third baseman, Kris Bryant. Though he may not begin the season with the big club, Bryant possesses the type of bat that will give headaches to the entire National League Central for a long time.
As the number two overall pick in 2013, Bryant has proven that he could hit and hit with power since his first day as a professional. After a successful 2013, Bryant was even better in his first full season last year. Playing through two levels, he hit .325 with 43 home runs and a 1.098 OPS. These spectacular numbers helped him to win the Minor League Player of the Year Award.
Bryant enters this season with plenty of upside. The only downside to his game was the 162 strikeouts he compiled over his 138 games last season. Getting all the way to AAA last season and excelling in his 70 games puts him on the fast track to the major leagues this season. Surrounding Bryant is not if he will earn a promotion this season, but when.
With a lightning quick, short swing, Bryant has all of the talent to be a instant superstar in Wrigley. While other additions to the division have a proven track record of success, Bryant will be the most menacing new bat the Brewers will face all year. The Cubs lineup will be full of pesky, young hitters this season, but no one will be more frustrating to face than Bryant.