The Chicago Cubs announced Wednesday that Tennessee Smokies infielder Kris Bryant will be promoted from the Smokies to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Corresponding roster move(s) have not yet been announced.
The 22-year-old lit up Southern League pitching throughout the first half of the season, leading the circuit in ten separate categories, including all three Triple Crown statistics. At the time of his promotion, Bryant recorded a .355 average (88-248), adding 61 runs, 20 doubles, 22 homers, 58 RBI and 43 walks, along with a .458 on-base percentage and .702 slugging percentage. At the time of his promotion, the infielder currently ranks fifth among all Smokies players since 2000 in home runs ahead of alums Russ Canzler and Dan Uggla, who each blasted 21 longballs during the 2010 and 2005 campaigns, respectively.
The Southern League All-Star and Home Run Derby champion enjoyed his strongest month in May, when he was named the Cubs’ Minor League Player of the Month after compiling a .407 clip (44-108), along with 30 runs scored, seven doubles, 12 homers, 34 RBI and 17 walks. Throughout his 68 games, Bryant tallied a pair of four-hit games to set new single-game career-highs on May 3 at Chattanooga and May 28 at Huntsville, in addition to recording his first multi-homer contest of his professional career on May 7versus Birmingham, scoring four runs while driving in six.
Selected by the Cubs as the second overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, Bryant was also honored as the Southern League Hitter of the Week on three different occasions by the circuit, including twice in a row. The league recognized the infielder for his accomplishments for the time periods between May 5-11, May 26 through June 1, and June 2-8.
Bryant will become the third Smokies player to be promoted to the Triple-A level this season, after infielder/outfielder Jonathan Mota on April 17 and catcher Rafael Lopez on June 3. He is set to join several members of the 2013 Tennessee Smokies in Iowa, including shortstop and top Cubs prospect Javier Baez.