Kris Bryant Did Something on Opening Day He’s Never Done Before
On a blissful day filled with many big Cubs performances, Kris Bryant’s Opening Day homer might have been the most exciting. That’s because it wasn’t just some ordinary homer.
Prior to his 8th-innning blast, Bryant had never before hit a knee-high, outside fastball for an opposite-field homer.
First home run of the year for @KrisBryant_23! #KBoom#EverybodyIn pic.twitter.com/cgBu42c6nJ
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 28, 2019
Prior to that shot, only 12 of Bryant’s career home runs had come to the right of straightaway center. And all seven of his career oppo homers off fastballs had come against pitches towards the middle or inside portion of the plate, as seen in the two figures below.
It’s a clear sign that he and his father were working on exactly that approach this winter, just as they had last offseason. Well, mission accomplished, and it’s only Day 1.
Think about the numbers KB can put up if he continues to combat pitchers’ adjustments. Since debuting in 2015, all he has done adjust to whatever scouting report opponents had on the ’16 MVP. Remember when folks were concerned about his whiff rate in 2015? Those worries have disappeared. Now he’s trying to squash the notion that he can’t do damage to the opposite field.
You should 100 percent be stoked that Kris Bryant demolished a pitch at the knees to the opposite field because the homer reflects a stronger shoulder and could be a sign of an imminent monster season.