Chicago's new manager, Joe Maddon, noted that Bryant, whose main position is third base, has no problem with the brief move and that he understands that learning as many positions as possible will be beneficial to his career in the future.
“He was all for it,” Maddon said. “He was really telling me he’d like to do it, so I found that interesting also. I think he understands the ability to play more than one position well benefits you now — and in the future — as a Major League Baseball player.”
Bryant, 23, was enthusiastic about the trial in the outfield and said he was open to playing anywhere on the field the Cubs need him.
“I’m a baseball player — I can play anywhere,” Bryant said. “If they asked me to play catcher, I’d give it my all. But I’ve played (the outfield) before (and) I’m really confident out there.
“I started when I was nine years old — that’s where I played. It’s not anything new to me. I’m sure I’ll have to take some reps out there to get used to it again. But if that’s where they put me, I’m looking forward to that challenge.”
Bryant was selected second overall by the Cubs in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft and received a $6.7 million signing bonus from the club. Chicago will likely assign Bryant to one of its triple-A affiliates in the near future, a move that has drawn criticism from Bryant's agent, Scott Boras.
In his first spring with the Cubs, Bryant is having a strong debut, batting .480 with eight home runs, 14 RBI and a .552 on-base percentage in 10 games.
- Jack Jorgensen