Kris Bryant’s “crazy summer” has just begun, but the Bonanza baseball star is already making a case to join Bryce Harper as a probable first-round pick in next year’s major league draft.
Bryant, who will be a senior infielder at Bonanza next season, was named the No. 1 position prospect in Perfect Game’s National Showcase, which concluded June 14 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
The same day, Bryant learned he was chosen to play in the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game in August at Petco Park in San Diego.
And on Tuesday, Bryant will join Harper, a Las Vegas High product who will play next season at the College of Southern Nevada, at the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars in Cary, N.C.
Bryant and Harper were the only players from Nevada chosen to the event, which runs through June 28.
Bryant’s goal is to make the cut for the 18-and-under U.S. National Team.
“To play for the United States would be the greatest honor I could ever have in my high school career,” he said.
Mike Bryant, Kris’ father and an assistant coach at Bonanza, said scouts are mostly drawn to his son because of his smooth swing.
“He has very fluid, effortless power,” Mike Bryant said. “It almost looks like he’s reading the morning newspaper when he swings.”
Kevin Fiddler, coach of Bonanza’s American Legion team that Kris Bryant will play for this summer, agreed.
“He has a pure swing,” he said. “It’s a big-league swing.”
The 6-foot-5-inch, 205-pound Bryant played mostly shortstop as a junior, but he’s viewed as a first baseman or third baseman after high school.
Bryant, who hit .486 with 14 home runs and 34 RBIs as a junior, gave an oral commitment to the University of San Diego in March 2008.
He said he is “really looking forward to going to USD,” but will discuss possibly signing a professional contract with his family after the draft.
Bryant said his ability to hit for average is what scouts are most impressed with, but he needs to improve his speed.
“I need to work on my running,” he said. “I’m not the fastest.”
Fiddler said he anticipates Bryant being a first-round pick.
“I tell Kris every day that he needs to prepare himself for something special, because there really is something special about him,” he said.