There has been a lot of talk recently about Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant‘s lack of power this season. While Bryant is hitting for less power so far this year, it’s nothing to panic about. He is still an elite hitter and the power is sure to come around.
In Kris Bryant’s first season in the big leagues in 2015, people were concerned about how much he was striking out. He finished the season with 199 strikeouts, but also collected 99 RBIs and batted .275.
Three years later, Bryant has dramatically reduced his strikeout totals. According to ZiPS projections, he is on pace for just 95 strikeouts this season—less than half of that 199 from his rookie season, when he was not called up until well into April.
And yet, people are still finding things to be concerned about in Bryant’s game. The latest talk has been regarding Bryant’s power numbers. He has hit just eight home runs this season, and he has not homered since May 14. ZiPS projections have him on pace for just 20 home runs this season, which would be a career low.
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The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma wrote about Bryant’s power struggles this season and how he has made an effort to improve, working with both Chili Davis and Andy Haines recently. Clearly, it is something Bryant is not satisfied with and wants to improve.
An elite hitter nonetheless
However, the lack of power should not be of much concern to Cubs fans. After all, Bryant seems to be doing just fine, even with his power levels being so low.
He is batting .301 on the season, with a .406 on-base percentage and .514 slugging percentage. In his first career start at leadoff against the Pirates Friday afternoon, he went 3-for-4, proving his ability to produce just about anywhere in the lineup.
Not to mention, Bryant leads the team with 2.1 WAR, according to Baseball Reference. So despite the lack of power, he seems to be doing just fine for the Cubs and has arguably been their best hitter to this point in the season.
Bryant is an elite hitter, period. His contact percentage is at 79.6 percent, the highest of his career. And even if his power is lacking somewhat, he is excelling in nearly every other category.
Once the power comes around, watch out
If anything, the lack of power from Bryant this season just shows how great of a player he is. Even without power, he has been an elite hitter and the Cubs are rolling now thanks to that fact.
There is no reason to overreact to the lack of power—it is sure to come around eventually. Bryant has hit over 25 home runs in each of his first three seasons in the majors, so we can only assume that he will come close to those numbers once again this year. When the power does come around, opposing teams beware.
What is considered a “slump” due to a lack of power for Kris Bryant would probably be numbers that most hitters would aspire to reach. Thus, once Bryant’s power starts to come around, combined with Anthony Rizzo‘s recent hot streak, the Cubs offense is sure to explode. But until then, Bryant is doing just fine at the moment.