Which player has been the most valuable to the Chicago Cubs?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Bryant quietly returned to form this season

After an injury-plagued 2018 campaign, somehow a large contingency of Chicago Cubs fans moved on from Kris Bryant. I’m not sure how or why it happened – the logic of such thinking eludes me in its entirety.

"“ ‘Get rid of him,’ ‘trade him’ — I was like, man, people are saying that about me?” he told the Chicago Sun-Times recently. “People have nothing but bad things to say about you when bad things are happening. That hurts. Being a people pleaser, it’ll really get to you if you let it. I felt terrible not being on the field.”"

But Bryant kept his head down and got right back to work after turning in the worst statistical season of his career last season. He entered Sunday’s finale on the South Side of Chicago near the top of the team leaderboard in virtually every offensive category.

  • Home runs – 17 (4th)
  • RBI – 44 (4th)
  • Batting Average – .296 (1st)
  • On-Base Percentage – .402 (1st)
  • OPS – .953 (1st)

He’s definitely been more contact-oriented this season, but he’s waiting for his pitch and punishing mistakes. Bryant leads the team with 45 base on balls – and has been a steady presence in the middle of the Cubs’ order, where he usually hits second, but has shifted into the number three spot of late.

There are few players in the game today capable of impacting a game in as many ways as Bryant, who plays all over the field at Maddon’s request. His bat ranks among the best in baseball – and with a strong second half, we could see the 2016 NL MVP back in the conversation once again come season’s end.

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