Chicago Cubs: No. 3: Kris Bryant
By age 24, Kris Bryant had already accomplished just about everything that one can in the game of baseball: The Gold Spikes Award for college’s best player. Rookie of the Year. National League MVP. And World Series champion with the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs were fortunate to get Bryant with the second overall pick in 2013, as the Houston Astros, picking first, selected pitcher Mark Appel, who never made it to the big leagues. Bryant seemed to have the majors figured out right away: In 2015, he won NL Rookie of the Year batting .275 with 26 home runs and 99 RBIs. Then in 2016, he hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBIs, winning NL MVP largely on the fact that he was willing to play both third base and outfield to help the team.
Bryant has still been a solid player over the past three years, though injuries have slowed him down a little. Overall, in his five-year career, the right-handed slugger has been an All-Star three times, finished in the top 11 of MVP voting three times, hit at least 26 home runs four times, and had an OPS of over .900 three times. As I noted in a previous article, his clutch statistics have gotten a lot better over the past few years.
As Cubs fans, we can’t help but feel like there’s much more for Kris Bryant to accomplish. If he’s able to stay healthy, and the Cubs can sign him long-term, Bryant could become an all-time Cubs great.