Many say the Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant had an “off year” in 2017. In reality, he improved in a number of statistical categories despite a slight decrease in slugging numbers. What does he have in store for 2018? More greatness.
Last year was pretty odd regarding evaluating the Chicago Cubs‘ Kris Bryant. He came off a 2016 in which he was the National League MVP and a World Champion. The expectations were sky-high for the young kid in 2017 as many thought he could repeat as NL MVP in just his third year in the majors. Despite finishing seventh in the vote and not being named an MLB All-Star, he still had a darn good season.
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Yes, the “Bryant had a down year” statement has been said numerous times, but the numbers have to be explored fully. There are certainly some statistical categories he did not match or exceed in 2017. However, there are some areas which he did better in 2017 vs. 2016.
Here are stat lines comparing Bryant’s 2016 and 2017. Information from Fangraphs.
.292/.385/.554 with a .939 OPS/ 39 HR / 10.7% BB / 22.0% K / .332 BABIP / 3.2 UBR (Ultimate Base Running) / 148 wRC+ / 10 Defensive Runs Saved / 11.0 Defensive Value / 8.3 fWAR
.295/.409/.537 with a .946 OPS / 29 HR / 14.3% BB / 19.2% K / .334 BABIP / 4.8 UBR / 146 wRC+ / 2 Defensive Runs Saved / 2.3 Defensive Value / 6.7 fWAR
Bryant may not have had the overall Wins Above Replacement value he had in 2016, but 6.7 is still pretty darn good. It was third-best in the National League. The defensive metrics were not as high in 2017 which factors into overall value, but the batting stats tell different stories.