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Cubs eager to see what 3B Bryant can do

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 5, 2014 at 2:49 am •  Published: March 5, 2014

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — No. 77 would seem to be the typical spring training number assigned to a player soon to be heading to the minors.

The Chicago Cubs, though, see a large piece of their future in that number. And that future may not be far away.

Third baseman Kris Bryant is a significant prospect.

Early on in camp, the 22-year-old Bryant become a batting-practice draw, sending home runs up on the freeway embankment near the Cubs' new spring training complex. He had a homer in the first spring game.

Bryant grew up in Las Vegas and played in college at San Diego. He turned out to be a dominant power hitter and won player of the year honors in college baseball last year.

The Cubs made him the No. 2 pick in the draft last June and he then earned MVP honors in the Arizona Fall League by hitting .364 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 20 games.

Bryant said he wasn't surprised by his performance.

"I have a lot of confidence in myself in competing with the best," he said. "I was playing as hard as I can. Things really worked out great there."

Cubs' fans, of course, are curious about when he might first appear in the big leagues. There has been speculation it could come as soon as the end of the 2014 season.

"Right now, I'm just focusing on the moment, trying to get better, get ready for the season," Bryant said. "Whatever happens out of here, happens. But I'm here to get better and learn from the guys here."

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