CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant, the Cubs' first-round Draft pick, was so confident in his ability, he said he was ready to play in the big leagues now. That prompted manager Dale Sveum to check with the team's traveling secretary to see if the third baseman was headed to Chicago for Friday's game.
"I was looking for a flight manifest to see if we could get him in the lineup today," Sveum said.
Not yet. Bryant was taken second overall in Day 1 of the First-Year Player Draft on Thursday. The 20-year-old infielder led the nation with 31 home runs for San Diego.
"We got the best hitter in the Draft," Sveum said. "He's an athlete -- 6-foot-5, great body, can run, throw. And obviously, we know about his power. Watching all the video on him, I loved his mechanics hitting, and his strength and ability to hit the ball to center field and right-center field is a plus.
"Whenever you get the best hitter in the Draft, one thing, knock on wood, is that they hit in the big leagues."
Watching video, Sveum could also tell Bryant has the athleticism to handle third base. Seeing Bryant hit got Sveum excited about the future.
"Just watching him, he has pretty good mechanics that usually last and will play well in the big leagues," Sveum said. "It's nice to have a guy who outhomered 200 major college teams."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.