We've got some special stuff from you on Kris Bryant today. Normally we don't get to quote scouts except indirectly and anonymously, but today we received permission to share some thoughts from you from one of the Cubs top scouts.
Alex Lontayo is the Cubs Area Scout on the west coast where Bryant played, of course, and was instrumental in bringing the slugging 3B to Chicago. He was kind enough to send some of his thoughts to share with you with the following statement...
Kris is a special player and person. Very athletic, plus arm, can run for a player his size and as almost everyone knows, has incredible leverage and power in his bat. Has a solid work ethic and a quiet confidence that makes you believe he will be an impact player at the next level. He comes from a great family, which is extremely supportive, and has guided him to become the person he is. Such a high character person that you immediately become a fan after talking to him. The more I watched him and spent time with him, the more convicted I became. All the background work I did turned up the same results, people that have had the chance to really know him, absolutely believed and liked him. Positive feedback across the board both on and off the field, including the classroom, dating back to high school. I’m excited and look forward to watching his continued development and career in our organization.
We also have stuff from a guy we think may be a pro scout himself one day -- Cubs Den contributor and Big League Futures scouting guru Kevin Gallo. Kevin has seen Kris Bryant many times already as he has been out in the area to scout, so these are his own thoughts.
As we all know I have been a Kris Bryant supporter since the beginning, so John asked me to guest post. Kris Bryant’s most obvious tool is power. However, it was the intangible ones that impressed me. He was a quiet leader on the field and puts the good of the team ahead of his individual stats. At every inning you could find him at the top of the stairs cheering on his teammates. He was always one of the first to be on the field and one of the last to leave. He took practices as seriously as he did the games, realizing that it is really the only way to get better. Despite the hard work he still always had a smile on his face. He is a rare type of player. The one that plays with passion but you can tell he is still having fun out there.
There is no arguing his physical tools. He stands 6’5 at 215lbs, so he has room to add some muscle still. Given the power he has already shown that is pretty scary. I don’t think adding that muscle will affect his quickness or range much. It is my belief he can stay at 3B for a while and will not be a liability there.
The one thing that I really didn’t touch on was Kris’ Family; I had the privilege meeting his Father Mike Bryant at a game. He knows his baseball and thought his son a very good work ethic. He has a solid support system in place for his journey to the majors. They followed him all over the country to see him play and I am sure they will make the trip to Wrigley soon.
As I already said I was a supporter of Bryant’s from the beginning of the season and now that he is signed I am happy and sad. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him play college ball anytime I wanted to, but now I don’t get a chance to see him as much. All that said I can’t wait to see him hitting bombs out of Wrigley and you bet I will be at his first game in Cubbies Blue.
Thanks to both Alex and Kevin for their thoughts and first hand observation/evaluation of a player that we should all be excited about both on and off the field.