Kris Bryant’s dad will pitch to him at Home Run Derby

SHARE Kris Bryant’s dad will pitch to him at Home Run Derby
SHARE Kris Bryant’s dad will pitch to him at Home Run Derby

The MLB Home Run Derby is on Monday, and Cubs rookie third baseman Kris Bryant will represent the Cubs along with first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

But there will be someone special throwing Bryant balls, his dad, Mike Bryant.

Before he was even in the HR Derby, Kris Bryant told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Sun-Times: “Honestly, if I were to do it, it would be more of an event for him than myself,” he said of Mike Bryant, the one-time Boston Red Sox farmhand. “I’d definitely choose my dad.”

Mike Bryant told MLB.com writer Carrie Muskat pitching to Kris in the home run hitting contest was on his bucket list.

I told him two years ago, I said, ‘Hey, if you ever make it to the big leagues and get in the Home Run Derby, I want to pitch to you,’ Mike Bryant said.

A lot of times, players in the Home Run Derby try to hit the balls too far and waste their energy. Mike doesn’t want Kris doing that. Mike knows his son can hit 500-foot home runs, but he wants Kris to win the whole derby.

I’d like to throw it down and in and go for the 350-foot home runs and not worry about hitting 430-foot home runs, and win it, Mike said. I know he can hit it 480, 500 feet, and I know maybe they’ll want to see that.

Kris, who’s second on the Cubs with 12 home runs this season, is just the sixth rookie to compete in the Home Run Derby, but this is the first season two rookies will compete in the derby at the same time. Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson, who leads all MLB rookies with 20 home runs, is the fourth seed while Bryant is the eighth seed.

Mike said he’s more excited to pitch in the home run contest than Kris is to hit in it, but Mike will try his best not to embarrass his son.

I’m really excited about this, Mike said. I’m excited for Kris. He always rolls his eyes at me a little bit because I’m such a Type A personality and he’s such a Type B. I won’t embarrass him.

The Home Run Derby will start at 7 p.m. on Monday at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

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