Bryant Named SL Hitter of the Week

Courtesy: Roger C. Hoover

Kris Bryant shaking hands with Manager Buddy Bailey before opening night at Smokies Park.

The Southern League announced today that Tennessee Smokies infielder Kris Bryant has been named the league’s Hitter of the Week for the time period between May 5-12. Bryant is the second Smokies player to be honored with a weekly award from the league after starting pitcher Corey Black was honored as Pitcher of the Week last month.

The eighth-best overall prospect in baseball compiled a .464 average (13-28) in that span, in addition to 12 runs scored, a double, four homers and 14 RBI. Included in that time frame was a career night for Bryant on April 7 against Birmingham, when Bryant recorded his first multi-homer game and also set single-game career-highs in runs (four) and RBI (six).

The four homers and 12 runs scored dating back to May 5 rank the 22-year-old in a tie for first in the Minor Leagues, in addition to placing second in total bases (26) and RBI. His 13 base knocks were the second-highest tally in the Southern League, while Bryant was also tied for second in the league in slugging percentage (.929) and extra-base hits (five) as well as fifth in batting average.

Overall this year for Tennessee, Bryant owns a .331 clip (44-133) with ten roundtrippers and 29 RBI in 35 games. Enter tonight’s action, the Nevada native paces the circuit in average, homers, runs scored (33), slugging percentage (.624), total bases (83) and extra-base hits (19), in addition to second in hits (44), on-base percentage (.437) and tied for second in RBI.

Bryant was selected by the Cubs as the second overall pick out of the University of San Diego in last year’s MLB Draft, and was tabbed as the eighth-best overall prospect before this season by Baseball America, in addition to the number two Cubs prospect behind former Smokies infielder Javier Baez. Starter Corey Black, the 15th-best Cubs farmhand per the same publication, was honored by the Southern League earlier this season as Pitcher of the Week for his efforts between April 21-27.

The Smokies are in the midst of a ten-game road trip and face the Jackson Generals, the Double-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, in the third game of their five-game set tonight at 8:05 p.m. ET after a 17-13 win at The Ballpark at Jackson last night. Right-hander Dae-Eun Rhee (2-1, 3.25) is set to get the nod for Tennessee, while Jackson is slated to give the nod to righty Victor Sanchez (0-0, 5.40).

They return home to Smokies Stadium on Wednesday, May 21 for a five-game set with the Mobile BayBears, the Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. in Kodak.

Tickets for that contest, as well as the remainder of the club’s 2014 home slate are still available, and can be purchased online at, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at (865) 286-2300.

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Categories: 2014 Smokies Feature


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