MESA, Ariz. - Kris Bryant is starting off spring with a bang.
Bryant experimented with his swing last year to protect his injured shoulder, but he's ditching the two-handed finish and getting back to what got him to an MVP level.
"Just keeping my back elbow super close to my body. When I'm bad or I get away from myself and I start fouling balls off, I think my back elbow is a little disconnected from my body. I was just jamming my elbow into my side the whole time in the cage. The baseball's going exactly where I want it to go. I've practiced it before, but not every single swing."
So far, so good. KB homered in his first at bat of Spring Training Saturday, sending a message to all his critics that last year's slump is behind him.
"This game is all about what have you done for me lately. Boy, did I get to experience that last year," explained Bryant, who batted .272 with 13 homers and 52 RBI in 102 games. "When you're not playing, you have a whole lot of time to sit there and either go through a Twitter rabbit hole or whatever and start seeing things about yourself. Seeing things saying, 'Trade him' and this and that. I'm like, 'Alright.' I'm motivated. Keep them coming. Bring it."
Bryant added an single to finish the game 2 for 2 with two RBI, helping the Cubs to an 8-4 win over the Brewers.