Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant wins Sporting News Rookie of the Year


Chicago Cubs rookie Kris Bryant was named the Sporting News National League Rookie of the Year, as voted on by fellow players, on Monday.

After setting a team record with 26 home runs and 99 RBI – the most ever by a Chicago Cubs rookie, Bryant earned the league’s top newcomer honors this week, which hardly comes as a surprise given his offensive exploits this season.

Earlier in the season, the race was much tighter – the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson and Giants’ Matt Duffy both turned in memorable first-halves. The former faded badly down the stretch after the All-Star Game and while Duffy’s all-around season was solid, he lacked the flash Bryant brought to the game with his light tower power.

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His best single month, August, was a full-blown offensive showcase. He batted a staggering .330/.422/.620 with seven homers and 20 RBI, helping lead the Cubs to a 19-9 record, the same record Chicago went on to post in September, as well, before finishing the year with four October wins.

The reigning Minor League Player of the Year did strike out a franchise-record 199 times, but trailed only first baseman Anthony Rizzo in both homers and runs batted in, while appearing in games all over the diamond, namely in corner outfield spots and the hot corner.

In the postseason, Bryant stumbled badly, batting just .176/.243/.441 in the team’s three series, hitting two homers and driving in five. He struck out 12 times, walking just three times in the Cubs’ run to the National League Championship Series.

Opposite Bryant, Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros brought home the American League Rookie of the Year honors.

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