Even before Kris Bryant arrived at the Friendly Confines, the hype in Wrigleyville was palpable – and he’s lived up to the hype in almost every way.
He led the team to its first postseason berth since 2008 in his rookie campaign, en route to NL Rookie of the Year honors. How could he follow up such a performance? By winning the National League MVP in 2016 and helping break a 108-year title drought as the Cubs won the World Series.
Injuries in recent years have slowed his pace a bit – but with 138 home runs in his first five seasons, there’s little doubt about what he’s capable of with the bat. Still only 27 years of age, he ranks 25th all-time in WAR – and his best years may still lie in front of him.
- 12th -On-Base Percentage (.385)
- 5th – On-Base Plus Slugging (.901)
- T-16th – Home Runs (138)
- 45th – Runs Batted In (403)
- 25th – Wins Above Replacement (25.1)
If the Cubs wind up extending Bryant to keep him in Chicago his entire career, the franchise’s all-time offensive leaderboards will undoubtedly be loaded with his name. And he’s got one thing almost all of the team’s great’s lack – that coveted World Series ring.