MESA, Ariz. -- The top draft pick from last season, Kris Bryant, spent his first day of his first spring training in a little awe of his surroundings. But he got through it just fine after facing veteran Carlos Villanueva in the Chicago Cubs' first live batting practice of the spring.
“It kind of did hit me,” Bryant said afterward. “I think he [Villanueva] was actually pitching the day that I signed so it was pretty cool it came full circle. I was watching him on television and now I’m playing with him, so it was a good day today.”
Bryant made some good contact but also missed on a few breaking pitches, which is no surprise after months off.
“In college you’re seeing that stuff all fall and winter,” he explained. “It will take a little time. [I’m] still getting my feet wet. I’ll fall back on the tools I used in college and hopefully it carries over to professional baseball.”
Bryant is slated to start the season at Double-A Tennessee but should stick around big league camp for a while and play in some Cactus League games.
Bonifacio arrives: Emilio Bonifacio arrived to camp on time after signing a minor league deal on Monday. There were reports he turned down major league offers to sign with the Cubs.
“I heard that but it’s not true,” he said.
He did have other minor league options but chose the Cubs because he felt it was the best opportunity to make a major league team. He can play infield and outfield and could be a leadoff man if needed. His best position is second base.
Cubs on TV/Radio: The Cubs could be switching radio and television homes after this season.
“This will be a year in which we’ll have a lot of discussions about the future of games on WGN [TV and radio],” Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said. “It’s still too early to predict or anticipate what’s going to happen with those games. We have some options and we’re going to explore them and do what’s right for the team.”