Fantasy Baseball Prospects StockWatch: Cubs 3B Kris Bryant
RotoAce is always looking to help fantasy baseball owners unearth the next big thing. While we are always looking down the road for keeper leagues as well, we believe most owners are looking for fantasy baseball prospects who can help them win this year. With that in mind, we will be highlighting several players who we believe will have an impact on fantasy baseball teams in 2015.
Kris Bryant | 3B | Cubs
ETA: Opening Day (June 1 at the latest)
It’s a toss-up at the top between Bryant and Twins outfielder Byron Buxton on prospect lists, with most going with Buxton No. 1 overall.
For the upcoming season, it has to be the 23-year-old Bryant who gets the nod. Not only has he completely destroyed minor-league pitching in his two professional seasons (.327/.448/.666 with 58 HRs), but the Cubs recently traded away starting third baseman Luis Valbuena for pitching help. So the only players on the current roster standing between Bryant and major-league pitching are Mike Olt and maybe Tommy La Stella.
RotoAce has Bryant comfortably in the third tier of our fantasy rankings with a projected line of .263/.349/.489 with 24 home runs in 481 PAs. The Steamer projections on fangraphs.com are favorable on Bryant, listing him with a 3.0 WAR, slightly behind hitters like Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley. That’s pretty impressive company and makes him the most-hyped rookie since Harper in 2012.
Obviously many things can happen with rookies the first time around, but Bryant has yet to struggle at any level and has the contact and walk/rate skills to prevent prolonged slumps as well. He had an identical 14.5% walk rate in Double-A and Triple-A last season to go with his high batting average and slugging totals.
In conclusion, Bryant should already owned in keeper leagues and looks to be one of the safest bets to help fantasy owners this season and beyond.