Kris Bryant's big-league comparison? How about Cal Ripken?

Kris Bryant's big-league comparison? How about Cal Ripken?
June 11, 2014, 3:45 pm
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Tony Andracki

We've seen so many superlatives describing Kris Bryant's unreal season with Double-A Tennessee.

But what about comparing him to one of the best players to ever step between the white lines?

[MORE - Cubs GM Hoyer: No need to rush Kris Bryant]

Mick Gillispie, a friend of CSNChicago.com and the Smokies' play-by-play broadcaster, joined the Mully and Hanley Show Wednesday morning to talk about Bryant and said he's never seen a guy like the Cubs' 2013 No. 2 pick.

"The player that I would describe him like is Cal Ripken," Gillispie said. "He's like a Cal Ripken. He kinda looks like him, he looks like him when he's batting, he looks like him in the field and he acts like him off the field. But that's just who he is. He's a great guy."

Ripken, of course, is the Hall of Famer who became baseball's Iron Man who went to 19 straight MLB All-Star games, won two MVP Awards, a Rookie of the Year and took home a pair of Gold Gloves.

[MORE - Kris Bryant is doing what Cubs asked: Dominate.]

Right now, Bryant is simply dominating Southern League pitching, with a .357 average, 1.182 OPS, 22 homers, 18 doubles, 55 RBI and 57 runs in 63 games.

Ripken played in the Southern League more than 30 years ago, appearing in 17 games with the Charlotte O's in 1979 and spent the whole 1980 season there as a 19-year-old. Current MLB stars like Joey Votto, Giancarlo (then Mike) Stanton and Paul Goldschmidt have also played in the Southern League, but Gillispie says Bryant blows them all out of the water with the way he's dominated.

People have been wondering for some time when he's going to get called up, either to Triple-A Iowa or to the big leagues.

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Don't expect to see him in Chicago at all this year, for a lot of reasons including financial concerns and years of team control.

Gillispie gets to watch Bryant every day and sees how the 22-year-old handles all the expectations that have been bestowed upon him.

"He's just gotta be patient," Gillispie told Mully and Hanley. "He's on the fast track. He's gonna get there soon."