Kris Bryant showing Chicago Cubs fans he’s primed for another monster year

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

As Kris Bryant goes, so go the Chicago Cubs

When Bryant is driving the ball all over the yard, Chicago tends to do well. Six of his eight home runs this year have come in Cubs wins, including Sunday’s shot. Last season, a campaign largely plagued by injury, he hit a career-low 13 long-balls and slugged a dismal .460.

So what’s changed from last year? Bryant says he’s staying within himself more often

"“It sucked to be hurt, but I don’t think that was the biggest thing,” Bryant said. “I lost timing. I lost that experience on the field … I don’t see myself as a rhythm [moving in the box] hitter. I’m very still in all of my movements. Very small movements. Staying quiet and looking at my previous successes helped a lot.”"

Bryant will look to avoid the pitfall that he stepped into last May after he homered on May 14 (his eighth on the year) and then went homer-less for the next month. Given he’s blasted a trio of home runs and has a 1.357 OPS over the last week, that seems to be something he should have little trouble doing.

Even more encouraging? He’s the owner of a 1.058 OPS over the last month and 1.300 OPS in the past two weeks. This is far more than a hot streak, rather, it’s Bryant getting back to what made him one of the best young players in the game just two years ago – driving the ball with authority.