Kris Bryant receives MiLB P.O.Y. Award at Winter Meetings


Although the Chicago Cubs and their fans have their attention focused firmly on the outcome of the Jon Lester sweepstakes, which are expected to conclude within the next 24 hours, one of the team’s top prospects, infielder Kris Bryant, was in the spotlight on Day One of the Winter Meetings in San Diego, receiving his Minor League Player of the Year Award Monday.

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Joining the Kansas City Royals’ Alex Gordon as the only player to ever win the College and Minor League Player of the Year awards in consecutive seasons, Bryant batted a robust .325/.438/.661 between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, leading all of Minor League Baseball with 43 home runs, while driving in 110 runs. Oh, and to put a bow on all of it, he accomplished these feats at the raw age of 22.

On Monday, Bryant told reporters that he is ready for the 2015 campaign, but said he still has a lot to work on.

Bryant arrived in San Diego in which he received his award at the Winter Meetings.

After being selected with the number two overall pick two years ago in the June player draft, the former University of San Diego standout has not missed a beat. In his first season, he batted .336/.390/.688, splitting the second half of 2013 between three Cubs affiliates. On Monday, Bryant told spoke with the media, including Muskat, the Cubs’ beat reporter for

"“One more step and I’m there. I’m going to keep working hard and have a level head and stay humble – that’s a big part of what’s gotten me this far. That can’t change.”"

Despite his monstrous campaign, which concluded with countless accolades and awards, including the one he received on Monday – Bryant headed into the offseason as the third-ranked prospect in all of Minor League Baseball, trailing only Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros and Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins.

As Muskat writes, Luis Valbuena is expected to man the third base position heading into 2015, after a career year in 2014, when he clubbed 16 home runs and drove in a career-high 51 runs. However, it has been widely speculated that a strong showing in Spring Training could be enough to bring Bryant to Chicago – if not for Opening Day, early on in the 2015 season.