Boise Hawks' past two first-round stars are climbing fast

Statesman staffJune 25, 2014 

KYLE SCHWARBER, NO. 4 OVERALL PICK, 2014

Schwarber played five games in Boise this month before a promotion to Single-A long-season Kane County in Illinois. The catcher/outfielder has five home runs in 10 games with the two teams. He is batting .514 with 18 hits, three doubles, one triple and 12 RBIs.

While his offensive presence has been solidified, questions regarding his long-term defensive responsibilities have increased. Drafted as a catcher out of Indiana, Schwarber has seen extended time in left field, where many believe will be his permanent position change.

"We decided this year, his first exposure to pro ball, we're going to have him see a lot of time in left field. ... Then we're going to sit down at the end of the minor-league season and see whether it's an appropriate time to make a call,'' Cubs President Theo Epstein said.

KRIS BRYANT, NO. 2 OVERALL PICK, 2013

Bryant, who played 18 games in Boise last year, was promoted this month from Double-A Tennessee to Triple-A Iowa, where he has five homers in six games. In 2014, the third baseman is batting .346 with 93 hits, including 20 doubles, 27 homers and 67 RBIs.

On Tuesday, Bryant was one of 25 U.S. players named to the All-Star Futures Game, which pits the top U.S. talent against the world. The game is July 13 — the Sunday before the All-Star Game on July 15 (both at Target Field in Minneapolis).

Despite his success, the major-league affiliate Chicago Cubs are unlikely to send Bryant to the bigs this season, according to President Theo Epstein.

"I don't foresee a scenario where he'd be up this year," Epstein told the Associated Press. "I don't think it's the right thing to do for someone in his first full professional season — barring extraordinary circumstances both in respect to the player and what's going on at the big-league club."

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