As he matriculated through the minors like a child prodigy breezing through elementary school, we kept hearing the same caveat about Kris Bryant’s future: He’s too tall to play third base. I’m not sure whether that idea was based in any analytical data or was a product of the same baseball alchemy that keeps trying to turn lead into gold gloves, but I tend to lean toward the latter.
I mean, I guess there’s something to be said for a big dude being less likely to have the quick-twitch mobility required to man the hot corner. And there’s probably some circumstantial evidence regarding tall third basemen who’ve had or developed back issues that limited their effectiveness. Still, the idea that height alone is a detriment is like the old adage that lifting weights would ruin a player’s swing or pitching mechanics.
None of this is to say that Bryant’s a Gold Glover, and I don’t think we’re ever going to include him in those conversations. But he’s no a slouch, either, that much is clear. Then again, he’s no Todd Frazier. There’s no reason to go after Hawk for that assessment, it’s just one of those funny things old folks say. I do think, however, that it speaks to some lingering bias about Bryant’s ability to field his position.
One play does not a bad narrative silence, though this at least raises an index finger to its lips:
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) September 2, 2016
When you really get down to it, though, Hawk was right. Bryant isn’t Frazier, not by a long shot. I guess the Cubs will just have to settle for those extra 6.6 wins and better stats across the board, including those pesky defensive metrics. Then again, what does stuff like Bryant’s 3.2 UZR at 3B vs. Frazier’s -4.7 matter when the latter possesses so much of that immeasurable TWTW?