With a seemingly healthy and rested Kris Bryant in tow, the Chicago Cubs are ready to begin the second half and chase down a third-straight division title.
Everyone who roots for the Chicago Cubs know how good Kris Bryant is. Pure and simple. Even with his inconsistency this season, he is slashing .284/.384/.482 with 10 homers and 40 RBI in 70 games.
Signs point to his shoulder being hurt during his pre-DL slump, which is not surprising. His swing did not seem as quick as he did not catch up to pitches he normally does.
Bryant’s return from the DL before the Break saw him play in four games. He slashed .278/.409/.500 with a homer, three walks and four runs driven in. Outside a few rough-looking strikeouts, he looked solid. Shaking off the rust was a factor anyway.
With the All-Star Game in the rearview mirror, it is time for Kris Bryant to do what he does…mash. After playing a few games before the break to get back in it, then resting, signs look good for him to return to full form.
A potential monster second half
Bryant has put up some of his best numbers in the second half. In his career he is a .302/.389/.526 hitter with a .914 OPS in 211 games. Just last year he slashed .325/.421/.548 in the second half after a “disappointing” .269/.399/.529 first half. The Chicago Cubs have always been known as a second half team, and Kris Bryant has been a significant part of that.
Do not forget that Bryant’s first two months he hit .286/.401/.524 with eight homers and an OPS of .925. And he got hit in the head in Colorado in the middle of all that and still came back strong.
The one thing that maybe lacked this year was the home runs, he has only hit two home runs since mid-May. March/April he also hit only two before hitting six in early May. The on-base and slugging otherwise has still been there. Seeing him hit a home run when he came back was good to see, and hopefully an indicator of things to come.
All in all, seeing a healthy Kris Bryant should be a lot of fun in the second half. It is really hard to doubt a kid who has been so good since coming into the majors. The only thing that seems likely to slow him down is another nagging injury, but hopefully that will not happen.