LAS VEGAS – While Major League Baseball irons out a plan to get back on the field, Kris Bryant’s dad is keeping the Cubs star busy in the batting cage.
“He’s really dedicated. He’s had a routine since he was 10-years-old.”
Mike knows firsthand how important routine swing maintenance can be.
“I saw how quickly my skills diminished when I stopped playing. My skills disappeared fairly quickly after I was inactive for two or three years.”
The elder Bryant was picked by the Boston Red Sox in the ninth round of the 1980 Amateur Draft, but was out of the minor leagues by 24.
“Baseball’s a lot like golf. You’ve got to play it every day. You’ve got to practice it every day. Take a day here, two days there to recharge the batteries, but it’s more of a mental discipline. Then, physical discipline follows.”
Kris’ numbers were up last year. He batted .282 with 31 homers and 77 RBI. Bryant is hoping a minor tweak during the shutdown can make a major impact whenever baseball comes back.
“Studied a lot film from 2016 MVP season. I’m just picking up on little things. When you’re in the big leagues adjustments are way small, but they can make huge differences. We’re getting back to his form. Trying to hit the ball hard the other way into the gaps in right central. Trying to get the swing to cover the plate a little bit more – a little bit flatter through the zone, still with that Ted Williams’ upswing that we talk about. Still trying to elevate the ball but hit a little bit harder with plate zone coverage.”
Kris doesn’t have to go far for lessons. His dad lives close by and the quarantine isn’t keeping Mike from spending quality time with his new grandson, Kyler Lee.
“I’m in complete awe every time I look at the little boy. He’s such a good little baby. He’s not really fussy at all. Beautiful, absolutely gorgeous baby,” gushed Grandpa Bryant. “I just can’t wait until he’s running around, swinging a bat. I can’t wait to put a bat in his hands.”
In the meantime, Kris can enjoy his indefinite paternity leave, helping his wife Jessica around the house.
“It would have been only three days. Then he would have to go back on the road,” Bryant explained. “It’s less hectic. He’s able to spend a lot of time with him. This is the silver lining. It’s a blessing in a way.”