Bryant not worried about home run numbers

Bryant not worried about home run numbers

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant led the Minor Leagues with 43 home runs last season and paced the Major Leagues in Spring Training with nine, but has yet to connect in his 15 games so far with the Cubs.

"I could go the whole season without hitting a home run as long as we're winning games, and right now we're doing pretty good," Bryant said Sunday. "I know the type of player I am. It's percentages -- I hit home runs and I'm due, and [Saturday] I was due for a bad game. It happens."

On Saturday, Bryant struck out four times in the Cubs' 6-1 loss to the Brewers, and on Sunday, he was 1-for-4 with an RBI double and struck out once in a 5-3 loss.

"It's baseball," he said. "It happens all the time. It's part of the game. I never look into a bad game too much. I realize why I'm playing this game."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon says he doesn't see the Cubs' top prospect pressing. But he wouldn't mind seeing him launch a ball into the unfinished bleachers at Wrigley Field.

"I'm sure that monkey coming off his back will help," Maddon said. "I don't see him trying too hard right now. For the most part he's been accepting his walks. [The Brewers' Mike Fiers] exploited him. I agree, the moment he does [homer], he'll relax a little more."

The rookie third baseman has drawn 12 walks and struck out 19 times so far.

"[Saturday] was a little different and maybe I got out of my approach a little bit," he said. "It's a percentage game with me and I have games like that a certain amount of times and I expect to have another game like that sometime this year. It's all about minimizing and learning from it. This is a whole learning experience for me. Facing the Brewers for the first time and seeing how they're attacking me, I'll make my adjustments and see where I'm at."

He's not kidding about having a high strikeout game. In Bryant's first game as a pro with short-season Boise in 2013, he struck out five times.

"I've been through this plenty of times before -- college, high school," he said. "It's a part of the game. It's a hard game. The ball's small, the bat's small. You've got to take it with a grain of salt and learn from it and that's what I'll do.

"I'm not here to put up crazy numbers or any of that stuff," he said. "I'm here to win. Maybe at previous levels, you're trying to get here so you feel the pressure to put up good numbers. But here it's all about winning and that's what I'm all about, too."

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.