Chicago Cubs: A deeper look into the great debate, Bryant versus Arenado

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 16: Kris Bryant
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 16: Kris Bryant /
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Chicago Cubs
CHICAGO, IL – JULY 07: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs runs the bases after hitting a solo home run in the 6th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field on July 7, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Despite delivering the game-tying RBI and scoring the winning run Saturday, fans continue to dog the Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant.

Last season, Bryant slashed .292/.385/.554 with a .396 wOBA (weighted on-base average). This year, in which he seems to draw near-constant criticism, he comes in at .278/.402/.528 with a .393 wOBA.

Bryant didn’t make the 2017 All-Star Game in Miami earlier this month. He wasn’t voted in originally by the fans and when voting became a chore almost, the Dodgers’ beat him out in MLB’s Final Vote process.

That’s fine. The Cubs were not good in the first half. Nolan Arenado had a phenomenal first half of the season, giving his Colorado Rockies playoff aspirations as they compete for an NL Wild Card spot with the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Arenado slashed .301/.351/.554 to go with his 17 home runs and 70 RBI.

Impressive slash line.

But the combination of Arenado’s stellar production and Bryant missing the Midsummer Classic doesn’t mean the latter is in the midst of a bad – or even a ‘down’ season.

Before we get into the serious numbers, let’s take a look at a few different categories. Durability, consistency and improvement show how great a player is over time.