GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Maybe it was only a matter of time before it happened. Hitting 4-5-6 in the Chicago Cubs' lineup, big-time prospects Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning of Tuesday's game against the Cleveland Indians.
"I was just laughing, 'No way this is happening right now,' " a smiling Baez said afterward.
Yes, the Cubs lost another spring game, but that won't damper the excitement felt 1,800 miles away after the trio took Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer deep.
All connected on no-doubters. First, Soler took Bauer way out to left field, past the home run fence and the grassy area where fans sit. It bounced over an outer fence and into the parking lot. Baez followed with a shot to almost the exact same spot -- it also bounced over. Finally, Bryant hit his home run out to right-center field.
"Hopefully we can do that when it really counts and help the Cubs win some games," Bryant said.
That would be nice considering the Cubs are 0-6-1 in the exhibition season and remain the only team in baseball without a spring win. You have to admit, it's very Cub-like to hit back-to-back-to-back home runs -- add another solo shot by Welington Castillo -- and still lose the game 10-6 while giving up 16 hits and committing four errors. But none of that matters because Soler, Baez and Bryant are about the future not the present.
"I was just thinking, 'Don’t get big' after that home run," Baez said of Soler's shot. "It was so far. We make an adjustment and we're swinging at good pitches and making them pay."
Baez hit a slider so Bryant made a mental note for his at-bat.
"It was middle away," he said. "I thought he might throw me a slider, but I saw Javy hit one of the sliders so I didn't know if he had enough confidence to do it again. He stuck with the fastball."
After two of his former Triple-A Iowa teammates went deep, Bryant was asked if he was thinking home run.
"I'm never thinking homers," Bryant said. "When I'm thinking that, they never come. I have to stick with my approach. Nice, easy swing and get a good pitch to hit. I've done it my whole life and it's worked so far."
It's not hard to envision this happening at Wrigley Field in the near future, but first they need to get there. Soler is entrenched as the starter in right field though the Cubs are taking it easy on his legs this spring. He's playing less than others. Bryant is seemingly ready for the big leagues -- though he made a throwing error at third on Tuesday -- but is destined for a short stay in Iowa this season. Baez is fighting for his job and is just two days removed from "feeling lost" at the plate after striking out three times Sunday.
"I felt great today, by the way," Baez told reporters still smiling. "I was waiting for that first hit and I can go from there."
Bryant comes with a built in even-keel meter.
"It was cool to watch them hit some homers and me get along in the action, so it was fun," Bryant said nonchalantly. "Can't get too high or too low."
Can he at least brag that he went opposite field while his teammates both pulled the ball? That's impressive, right?
"They had the distance," Bryant said. "I can't hang with them in terms of distance, but I'll go right center."
No one will care how far or to what part of Wrigley Field the balls leave the yard. Tuesday was a glimpse of what could be.