Chicago – The highly anticipated Kris Bryant era will start Friday at Wrigley Field.
After a controversial three weeks in which the Cubs' top prospect was sent to Class AAA Iowa despite a dominant spring training, team officials have elected to promote him to the majors, a source confirmed late Thursday night.
Bryant will take the roster spot of third baseman Mike Olt, who will be placed on the 15-day disabled list after getting struck on the right wrist by a pitch Saturday against the Rockies.
Bryant's promotion was revealed shortly after he hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning of Iowa's 10-7 win at New Orleans. Bryant batted .321 with three home runs and 10 RBI for Iowa after winning the large support of his teammates in spring training. Bryant batted .425 with nine home runs in only 40 at-bats.
He and the Twins' Byron Buxton are widely considered the top two prospects in baseball.
Because Bryant wasn't on the major league roster for 12 days, he won't be eligible for free agency until after 2021. But the Cubs have an urgent need at third base because Olt and Tommy La Stella (sore right rib cage) are on the DL.
This marks another step toward the Cubs' commitment to contending for a National League playoff berth. Bryant signed a $6.7 million bonus out of the University of San Diego two years ago, and he has dominated every level in the minors in a short span.
The Cubs are off to a 5-3 start and are tied for first in the NL Central.