9/1/2014 11:25 P.M. ET
Bryant edges Gallo in Minor League home run race
Cubs top prospect belts 43 homers, one more than Texas slugger
By Teddy Cahill / MLB.com
There is a new Minor League home run king.
Cubs' No. 1 prospect Kris Bryant edged Rangers' No. 1 prospect Joey Gallo, 43-42, in the season-long home run derby they had been waging from afar, as the Minor League's regular season came to a close Monday.
Bryant, ranked No. 3 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, entered Monday with a two-homer lead on Gallo, who led the Minors with 40 home runs in 2013. Bryant went 1-for-4 with three runs, but no homers in Triple-A Iowa's 11-1 victory Monday afternoon. That left Gallo needing his sixth multi-homer game of the season when Double-A Frisco played a few hours later to catch Bryant.
Gallo, ranked No. 8 on the Top 100, got a good start, homering in the first inning for the RoughRiders. But he walked, hit a sacrifice fly and struck out in his final three plate appearances, leaving him one behind Bryant on the leaderboard.
Bryant's 43 home runs are the most hit by a Minor Leaguer since Brandon Wood hit that many in 2005. He is the first Cubs' farmhand to lead the Minor Leagues in home runs since Bryan LaHair did so with 38 in 2011.
The Cubs selected Bryant with the second overall pick of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. He split his first full professional season between Double-A Tennessee and Iowa. In 138 games at the two levels, he hit .325/.438/.661 with 110 RBIs and 118 runs. He also stole 15 bases.
Gallo was the 39th overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. He hit 40 home runs as a 19-year old in 2013, becoming the first teenager in 52 years to hit at least 40 home runs. This year, he split his season between Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and Frisco. In 126 games at the two levels, he hit .271/.394/.615 with 106 RBIs and 97 runs.
Bryant's season is now over after Iowa finished in second place in the Pacific Coast League American Northern Division. Gallo will begin the postseason Wednesday, when Frisco begins the Texas League playoffs against Midland.