Rising Cubs prospect Bryant hits 15th homer

Rising Cubs prospect Bryant hits 15th homer

Third baseman Kris Bryant, the Cubs' No. 2 prospect, matched his career high with four hits and hit his Southern League-leading 15th home run on Wednesday, but Double-A Tennessee managed just two other hits and lost at Huntsville, 2-1, in 11 innings.

Bryant, ranked No. 8 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, finished the game 4-for-4 with a home run, a double and a walk.

Nearly two months into the season, Bryant is mounting a challenge for the Southern League Triple Crown. He leads the circuit with a .349 batting average and 15 home runs and ranks second with 44 RBIs, one behind Mobile outfielder David Peralta. Bryant also leads the league in all three slash categories -- batting average, on-base percentage (.452) and slugging percentage (.667).

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to Bryant winning the Southern League Triple Crown is the prospect of a promotion to Triple-A Iowa. Christian Villanueva, the Cubs' No. 11 prospect, is Iowa's primary third baseman.

Bryant's impressive start to the season is not out of character. He has done nothing but hit since the Cubs made him the second overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. Bryant has hit .344/.428/.675 with 24 home runs in 87 games as a professional.

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.