MLBPA's Clark eager to see Bryant succeed in Majors

Cubs' top rookie competing for roster spot

MLBPA's Clark eager to see Bryant succeed in Majors

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs fans aren't the only ones counting the days until Kris Bryant is promoted to the big leagues. The Major League Baseball Players Association is keeping an eye on the situation, too.

Tony Clark, executive director of the MLBPA, would not comment specifically about Bryant, who is ranked as baseball's No. 2 prospect, according to MLB.com.

"We always pay attention during the course of the year as guys come up, go down, different considerations that may be a part of those decisions -- we're always paying attention to those things," Clark said Friday. "This year is a little bit different than years past [with the Cubs] because it's a remarkably talented group in that locker room, a very good group of veterans and a very good group of young talented players, and even selfishly I'm interested to see how everything falls into place.

Maddon on top prospect Bryant

"How it relates to when someone might come up and when not, those are all things that we pay very close attention to," he said. "As the year goes along, we'll see."

The Cubs would gain an extra year of control on Bryant by keeping him in the Minor Leagues for at least the first few weeks of the regular season. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has said anyone in camp is a candidate for the Opening Day roster.

Clark has a personal connection to Bryant.

"Kris, being from San Diego, there's a special place in my heart for him," Clark said. "I didn't realize he literally was as big as he is. It's one thing to have the stat sheet say 6-5, it's something else, because I'm 6-7, to look him eye to eye.

"I'm excited for him personally because of the San Diego tie, but I'm excited for the young group [the Cubs] have in general. It's a pretty exciting time right now to see what's going on with Chicago baseball."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.