Cubs nab Kris Bryant with their #1 pick

imagesThe Chicago Cubs tonight selected right-handed hitting third baseman Kris Bryant out of the University of San Diego with the second overall pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Bryant was recommended by area scout Alex Lontayo.

“Kris had an incredible season at San Diego, hitting for both power and average,” said Jason McLeod, Cubs Vice President of Scouting and Player Development. “He is a big, strong, athletic player, and we feel he has the attributes of someone who could fit into the middle of a lineup at the major league level. He has the ability to hit for average along with power to all parts of the park.”

Bryant, 20, hit .329 (75-for-228) with 80 runs scored, 13 doubles, three triples, 31 home runs and 62 RBI in 62 games for the Toreros this season, his junior year. His 31 home runs led the nation and are a USD single-season record. Bryant also led the nation in runs scored, walks (66) and slugging percentage (.820). His 54 career home runs in three years at USD are a school record.

Named a finalist for the 2013 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, the 6-foot, 5-inch, 215-pound Bryant also led the Toreros in total bases (187), while striking out just 44 times in 302 plate appearances. In addition, Bryant was named the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year to go along with All-Tournament Team honors at the West Coast Conference Championships. The Louisville Slugger National Player of the Year sported a .946 fielding percentage at third base (9 E/166 TC).

Baseball America listed Bryant as the top position prospect available in the draft, and the third-best overall. The publication ranks him as the top college power hitter available and third-best with regards to strike zone judgment.

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