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Cubs 15-15-1 in spring, Kris Bryant must watch

MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs won their Cactus League finale, 11-6 over the Milwaukee Brewers, finishing the spring season with a 15-15-1 mark.

Spring Totals

At-Bats: Jorge Soler, 55

Batting avg (min 20 AB): Kris Bryant, .425

Home runs: Bryant, 9.

RBIs: Bryant, Soler, 15.

Strikeouts: Javier Baez, 20

Stolen bases: Junior Lake, 5

Lowest ERA (min 10 IP): Joseph Ortiz, 1.59

Highest ERA: Eric Jokisch, 8.80

Errors: Starlin Castro, Bryant, 3

Best Moment: Baez, Soler and Bryant going back-to-back-to-back in a game against the Cleveland Indians

Second best moment: Kyle Schwarber's grand slam in his first big league spring at-bat

Worst moment: Baez's 4-strikeout day against the Diamondbacks

Best young player: Bryant

Best veteran: Welington Castillo

Best newcomer: Tommy La Stella

Summary: Bryant's at-bats became a must watch -- and that's saying something for spring training. He hit home runs off of fastballs and off-speed pitches both high and low, inside and outside the strike zone. And he hit them to all parts of the ballpark. His best may have come on a sinker away in one game, a pitch he's had problems with in the past.

Overall, the group of young players that took the field looked more than comfortable in the big league environment. Albert Almora, Schwarber and Addison Russell had professional at-bats while Russell looked like the real deal at shortstop. Soler was every bit the beast his teammates claim he is. The Cubs farm system is highly ranked for a reason and it was apparent this spring.

Not surprisingly, several veterans came on strong later in camp including Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler and Jason Hammel. Hammel, in particular, took a bullpen session in which he threw only fastballs and segued that into three really good starts to prepare him for the regular season. The hope is Jon Lester is ready as well after going through a dead-arm period.

It took some getting used to but the players came around to how Joe Maddon wants them to play -- aggressive on the base paths. Early March outs at second and third turned into extra bases later in the month. The Cubs played better baseball as the schedule inched closer to April finishing the Cactus League with a 15-9 mark after starting 0-6. None of it means anything for next week but at least Maddon can be comfortable knowing his team is starting to get his message.

What's Next: The Cubs are off on Thursday before taking on the Diamondbacks both Friday and Saturday at Chase field in exhibition contests. They open the regular season on Sunday night against the St. Louis Cardinals.