Chicago manager David Ross said he intends on sticking with Bryant as his leadoff hitter during the abbreviated 2020 season, Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago reports. Ross tabbed Bryant as his leadoff hitter back in February before play was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, teams are looking at a condensed 60-game schedule, and MLB is adopting a universal DH, giving National League managers like Ross more options in building their lineups. Despite the added flexibility, Ross said he plans on sticking with Bryant atop the order. The 28-year-old did not bat leadoff at all last season, though he did slash a robust .333/.448/.632 when leading off an inning.
Bryant is utilizing technology in his home batting practice sessions to track data such as launch angle, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. Bryant purchased a portable camera and radar unit from the technology company Rapsodo in December. The slugger is able to use the device to track launch angle, exit speed, exit direction and distance of ball hit during sessions at his Las Vegas batting cage. Bryant is entering a critical season with the Cubs, whenever it's able to begin. The 28-year-old is set to become a free agent after the 2021 season and was subject to some trade speculation this past offseason. Bryant no doubt wants to hit the ground running when play resumes, and his advanced home workouts could help him do so.
Bryant said he feels "really good" as the leadoff hitter heading into the season, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Bryant said he doesn't plan on changing his approach much from last season, when he generally hit second in the order. The 28-year-old slashed .333/.448/.632 when leading off an inning in 2019, so there's some reason for optimism that he could really thrive in the role. Bryant may see his RBI total tick down, but he figures to post a lot of runs and home runs.
Bryant will be the Cubs' leadoff man this season, manager David Ross confirmed Wednesday, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports. Bryant typically hit second or third for previous manager Joe Maddon, but Ross evidently likes him leading off. The third baseman has eclipsed 100 runs in three of the last four seasons and is a good bet to do so again if he sticks in the leadoff role all year, as his .385 career on-base percentage means he'll set the table quite well. Expect his RBI total to drop somewhat with the move, however.
Bryant could be deployed as the Cubs' leadoff hitter after he told manager David Ross on Wednesday that he's willing to fill the opening atop the lineup, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports. Though he's endured a fairly turbulent offseason in which he's been the subject of trade rumors, Bryant reaffirmed his commitment to the Cubs upon reporting to camp this week and informed Ross he was willing to do what's best for the team. To that end, Bryant -- who has most commonly hit second or third the past five seasons -- tossed his name into consideration for leadoff duties. The top of the order was a major trouble spot in 2019 for the Cubs, who ranked last in the majors with a .294 on-base percentage out of the lineup slot. The owner of a career .385 on-base percentage, Bryant would provide an obvious upgrade, though fantasy managers should bear in mind that the leadoff assignment would likely result in him exchanging more RBI for runs. At this stage, Ross hasn't formally committed to Bryant as the club's leadoff hitter, but expect the 28-year-old to at least get a long look as a table setter during Cactus League play.
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