Today, Kris Bryant is set to finally be called up to the Chicago Cubs. He has been all over the news, all over social media, and at the heart of every baseball discussion for the past month and a half. For many St. Louis Cardinals fans reading about the news about Kris Bryant today, they may be thinking, “Do the Cardinals have a Kris Bryant?”.
First off, let’s set a parameter here and talk about what makes Kris Bryant so special. Bryant was taken 2nd overall by the Cubs in the 2013 draft and for good reason. Bryant was touted as the best power bat in the 2013 draft and through his minor league career has lived up to it. In 648 AB in the minors Bryant has featured a slash line of .327/.426/.667, while whacking 49 2B and 55 HR and driving in 152 RBI. Those are some pretty lofty numbers. The really nice thing about Bryant is that he has done all of this while patrolling a very tough defensive position in 3B, making him even more valuable. Fansided‘s own Conner Gomer says this about Bryant, “Analyst after analyst has looked at Bryant, rated him, and given the same synopsis of his game- the kid is a natural.”Many people are stating the case that this kid is ready to take the big stage and show everyone what he is made of. It will be interesting to watch how this kid performs at the big league level.
Analyst after analyst has looked at Bryant, rated him, and given the same synopsis of his game-the kid is a natural.
So, what about our Cardinals? Do they have a guy with the stature of a Kris Bryant? As much as I hate to tell you, the short answer is no. The Cardinals do not have a guy offensively that can line up with the hype of a Kris Bryant. Unfortunately, the one guy they did have that could stand toe to toe with Bryant ability wise was Oscar Taveras and we all know that sad story. However, there are some players in the system that can at least be potentially considered in the same conversation as a Kris Bryant.
The first guy is Magneuris Sierra, while this is a guy most Cardinals fans should know about already, Sierra is a guy that has since last year has really started to impress a lot of people in the Cardinals organization. Last season, Sierra was the GCL player of the year, hitting .386 in 202 AB through 52 games. While this may not be as impressive as Kris Bryant’s pedigree through the minors, many in the Cardinal organization believe Sierra can develop into an even better hitter, potentially even adding some power to his repertoire as he develops. This is actually set up to be Sierra’s first full season of professional ball as he has started out with Class A Peoria. One important thing to note about Sierra is his age, he has only recently turned 19.
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Sierra is a very young and raw talent that will need some seasoning for a while in the minors before we can count on him to be coming to the big leagues. However, all signs point to a solid hitter and an even better defensive CF on his way through the Cardinals system.
The second guy is Alex Reyes. Reyes, in my opinion is the best pitcher the team has coming through the minor league system right now. Last season Reyes in his first full season, featured a 3.63 ERA over 109 IP, striking out 137 resulting in a really good 11.3 K/9. While Reyes may not be a power hitting offensive machine like Bryant, he has actually started to gather the hype of a guy like Bryant as he continues his ascension through the Cardinals minor league system. In his last start Reyes went 5 2/3 IP with 3 H, 3 BB, 10 K and according to many on social media, Reyes’ FB was touching 99-101 MPH throughout the night. According to Eric Johnson of Viva El Birdos, “His stuff is too overwhelming for the most of the hitters in the Florida State League and the Cardinals will likely have to bump him up a level to test him.” This is confirmation that the pitcher is going to start to move a little quicker through the system as he progresses. MLB.com rates Reyes as the Cardinals #3 prospect with an ETA of 2017, which would project Reyes to most likely finish the season in Springfield and potentially begin next season in Memphis.
So, while the Cardinals may not have the one guy in the system that could equal Kris Bryant’s talent, there are plenty in the organization to be excited for. These are just a sample of two players that are going to generate a lot of excitement in the coming years.