Bryant helps Solar Sox stay unbeaten

Cubs prospect crushes second homer in three AFL games

By Josh Jackson / | October 11, 2013 9:51 PM ET

Sweet home Arizona? Don't tell Kris Bryant or any of his Mesa teammates that those aren't the lyrics to the blues standard.

The Cubs' No. 4 prospect singled in a run and homered for the second time in three games as Mesa beat Surprise, 7-3, on Friday to improve to 3-0 in Arizona Fall League play.

Bryant went 2-for-5 and is hitting .500 with seven RBIs. Wes Darvill also has a .500 average, while fellow Cubs farmhand Albert Almora -- who did not play Friday -- is batting .600 with six RBIs in two games.

"We're really comfortable with one another. I've been hanging out with Albert and Wes Darvill and Jorge [Soler], all joking around together and having fun," Bryant said. "We have really good chemistry and, hopefully, it carries up through the [Minor League] levels. The whole experience has been great. We're getting to know each other.

"It's definitely really exciting. The Cubs players are off to a good start in the Fall League. I think the future is really bright for us -- we're playing as hard as we can and if we keep doing what we're doing, the Cubs have a really bright future."

Bryant got the Solar Sox started with a two-out RBI single in the first inning. Saguaros starter Will Lamb (Rangers) threw him a first-pitch fastball on the outer part of the plate that the 21-year-old designated hitter lined into center field.

"In that situation, with runners in scoring position, I'm looking for a ball over the plate that I can put the barrel on," said Bryant, the second overall pick in this year's Draft. "He threw a first-pitch fastball over the white, and I'm supposed to do that. We're supposed to hit it up the middle in that situation, and that's what I did."

Bryant's roundtripper came off Indians prospect Shawn Armstrong in the seventh. On a 1-1 count, the University of San Diego product got the pitch he wanted.

"I put a really good swing on it, but the guy had a really good slider. He threw two in a row and I didn't know if he would come back with another one," Bryant said. "The [second] one was out of the zone. I knew I was going to see at least one fastball, and he threw it next and I did some damage on it."

Bryant has 14 total bases in as many AFL at-bats and said he's feeling somewhat locked in.

"I came in and made a little adjustment and I'm seeing the ball a lot better. I'm comfortable in the box," he added. "When you're feeling really comfortable up there, good things are going to come for you. It feels like I'm seeing the ball really well."

Nationals prospect Steven Souza Jr. also came up big for Mesa, going 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, a double, three RBIs, three stolen bases and two runs scored. Soler scored twice and Darvill reached base three times and knocked in a run.

"We've got some good guys on this team, not just from our organization," Bryant said. "Everybody is hitting the ball well and pitchers are throwing strikes. Even though we're all from different organizations, we all want the team to win and we're all learning together."

Brewers prospect Mitch Haniger went 4-for-4 with a double and a run scored for Surprise, raising his AFL average to .563.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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