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Bryant, Vogelbach make big splashes

Top Cubs prospects both go yard in first games for Daytona
August 13, 2013

This year's No. 2 overall Draft pick Kris Bryant has never been known for his debut games -- in his short pro career as well as in college.

The Cubs' No. 4 prospect homered in his second Florida State League at-bat and Dan Vogelbach did the same in the first game of Tuesday's twinbill for Class A Advanced Daytona.

Bryant, who did not play in the Cubs' 5-0 victory in the opener, finished with one hit in three at-bats. After flying out to right field in the first inning, the second overall pick hit a solo homer to center field with two outs in the fourth. He struck out to end the sixth as Daytona lost, 3-2.

"It was a first-pitch fastball and I was looking for a fastball up in the zone to hit because the wind was blowing out a little bit, I think that helped it," Bryant said of the long ball. "It felt good to get the first one out of the way."

The Nevada native went 0-for-3 in his pro debut for the Arizona League Cubs on July 21 and was hitless in five trips to the plate in his Northwest League debut two days later.

"I had some pretty bad debuts with the Arizona League Cubs and the Hawks, and thinking back to my college career, I never had a good first game of the season," Bryant said. "Looking back, this is higher up on my debuts and I'm excited to get back out there tomorrow."

Vogelbach, the Cubs' No. 11 prospect, slugged a two-run homer in the fourth to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the opener. He later singled and scored in the sixth, finishing 2-for-3 before going hitless in the nightcap.

"It felt good," Vogelbach said. "Any time you can get the first one out of the way, it feels good. I was a struggling a little bit in Kane County at the end, chasing some pitches, so it felt good to get back to my normal swing."

Vogelbach learned of his promotion after last night's game for the Class A Cougars and made it to Daytona in time for first game of the doubleheader, which began at 5:05 p.m. ET.

"It's been real, exciting of course, but tiring too. I haven't slept at all," he said. "I left at 4 this morning to come here, but I couldn't ask for a better reason for that."

Bryant was informed of his promotion a little differently, as Rookie-level Boise had a day off on Monday. As a result, he was not at the ballpark, but was enjoying the sun with his teammates.

"I found out yesterday at the water park. We were hanging out and I got a call from the head coach Gary Van Tol. He told me I was heading to Daytona," Bryant said. "I had to rush home and pack all my stuff and say goodbye to everyone."

Luckily for the 21-year-old third baseman, he had nearly wrapped up his time at the park.

"I was already out there for a while and I got all the rides out of the way."

Bryant was named the Northwest League's Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after batting .529 with a homer and five RBIs last week.

Pierce Johnson, the Cubs' No. 7 prospect, struck out seven and allowed four hits over 5 2/3 innings to earn his fifth win for Daytona.

In the nightcap, Mark Leiter, a 22nd-round pick by the Phillies in June, earned his first win for the Threshers, allowing a run on four hits over five innings.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich.