Cubs

Cubs: Bryant, Stanton and the popularity of power prospects

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Cubs: Bryant, Stanton and the popularity of power prospects

It's hard to imagine any prospect getting more fanfare than Kris Bryant got before his MLB debut last week.

Cubs outfielder Chris Coghlan would agree, even after watching Giancarlo Stanton make his debut in 2010 as a baseball-crushing 20-year-old.

Stanton debuted with the then-Florida Marlins just 10 days before Coghlan's 25th birthday, the year after Coghlan took home the National League Rookie of the Year Award.

In Coghlan's eyes, the hype for Bryant was on another level, even though Stanton - a consensus Top 5 prospect leading into 2010 - was demolishing balls at almost the same rate as the Cubs' young slugger.

"When Stanton came up, it was a huge deal," Coghlan said. "It was like, 'Hey, this dude hit 40-something homers,' same thing as Kris.

"But when Kris came up, it was like a whole different planet. I mean, he's on ESPN and everywhere. So he has to deal with a lot of those pressures."

[RELATED: Kris Bryant embraces the hype, lives up to expectations]

The entire baseball world had been waiting on Bryant's call-up for what seemed like an eternity after the game's top prospect led all of professional baseball with 43 homers in 2014 and then again in spring training with nine longballs.

The media helped play up Bryant-mania, but there were so many other factors, from the popularity of social media to the lack of power and offense in the game today.

Stanton hit 39 homers in 2008 as an 18-year-old playing in A-ball, but the world was a different place back then. Minor-league home runs weren't broadcast on Twitter and nobody was asking the Marlins prospect to star in commercials before even taking an at-bat in the big leagues.

Bryant filmed a Red Bull commercial just days before his promotion and the 23-year-old may be a huge motivation for changing the service time quota in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.

[MORE: Early on, Kris Bryant showing off star potential]

But even with all the hoopla surrounding Bryant, Coghlan thinks it's only a matter of time before another prospect comes along and demands even more attention.

"In five years, there's gonna be some new guy that's going to be even more hyped than Kris was," Coghlan said. "Because that's just the way the game has evolved with social media and everything.

"People didn't used to be that big as prospects. Fans didn't know prospects. There was no draft on TV. The game just keeps evolving like that."

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki discuss the comments Chili Davis made after being fired as Cubs hitting coach, ask if the Cubs struggles on offense were Davis' fault or the players and what Anthony Iapoce will be walking into as he tries to gets the team back on track a the plate.

 

Listen to the entire podcast here, or in the embedded player below:

 

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

The changing of the guard continues for the Cubs this offseason. 

After the team hired a new hitting coach yesterday, it was reported today that they're losing a front office member: 

Rehman, who has been with the Cubs in the same position for the last seven years, will reportedly head up the Rangers' analytics department. According to the Chicago Tribune, Rehman's role was " evaluating existing systems, and recognizing and applying solutions in an effort to create competitive advantages for the organization." 

All reports indicate that he'll be doing similar analytic-based work with the Rangers.