Chicago Cubs: These 10 players must have success this season

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Get ready for another MVP run from the Cubs’ third baseman

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Anyone who doubts Kris Bryant will be back to mashing baseballs all over Wrigley Field this year is a fool – and likely lacks even a fundamental understanding of what happened to the former MVP last season.

Prior to getting hit in the head by a pitch in late April, the Chicago slugger was on a torrid pace – one that likely would have exceeded his 2016 MVP performance. A shoulder injury later in the year sapped him of pretty much all power, even prompting him to change his swing. For much of the rest of the year, he looked overmatched and a far cry from a guy who entered the year as one of the game’s most premier talents.

From July 1 through the end of the season, Bryant hit just four home runs – and there was no bigger absence in the Cubs’ lineup than his. Without his protection and the continued slumps of guys like Willson Contreras, the offense sputtered – eventually costing Chicago its season.

But after a winter of rehab and strength work, the former Rookie of the Year is ready to get back to what he does best: headlining the Cubs’ lineup alongside Anthony Rizzo. With his power back and no lingering effects from last year’s injuries, Kris Bryant is the guy capable of transforming an offense Theo Epstein said ‘broke’ somewhere along the way last season.

So doubt him, question his abilities or value – whatever you want. But know he’s going to prove you wrong this season and he’s going to do it in a big way.