Chicago Cubs: Our staff makes their predictions for the 2017 campaign
By Jake Misener
Our guys go all-in on the reigning National League MVP
It seems like an obvious answer to the question: which player, Anthony Rizzo or Kris Bryant, will have the best all-around season in 2017?
Of course, you’d immediately assume Bryant, who is coming off a Rookie of the Year Award in 2015 and Most Valuable Player honors in 2016. Still, Rizzo, the veteran of the group, won the Platinum Glove Award last year at first base and finished fourth in NL MVP voting, smacking 32 home runs and driving in 109.
And, well, our staff seemed to agree with KB.
Question: Who will have the better all-around season – Bryant or Rizzo?
Ryan Tadych: Rizzo and Bryant clearly are the top two players on the team and Rizzo has been about as consistent in baseball as anyone the last few seasons. He will remain that way and Bryant will continue to reach new heights. Bryant will surpass 40 homers, drive in 110+ runs and continue to show why he is the NL MVP. Both of them will provide a lot of fun and offense during the season, but Bryant will have the better numbers.
Tim Stebbins: Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have been nothing short of spectacular during their time with the Cubs. If I had to pick one of the two to have a “better” season, I’d go with Bryant to build off of his MVP season. I fully expect Rizzo to have a great 2017 season, but Bryant has gone from winning the Golden Spikes Award in 2013 to MVP in 2016. The guy is a beast, simply put.
Not everyone is hopping on the well-deserved bandwagon of Bryant, though. Anthony Rizzo, who could be in the franchise top 10 for homers by the start of 2019, has more than carried is weight on this team.
Because of Bryant, and the reintroduction of Schwarber into the mix, some believe Rizzo could be the biggest star of all for the reigning world champions in 2017.
Corey Francis: Should their position in the lineup stand, and both players stay healthy, Rizzo will have a better year. With Schwarber and Bryant in front of Rizzo, RBI numbers will be close to 120. As long Zobrist or Russell contribute consistently, Rizzo will see good pitches. He will hit for a .307/.370/.575 split, with 39 HR, 121 RBI, 70 runs scored.