Chicago Cubs: An NL MVP leads the team to a title
“This is going to be a tough play, Bryant, the CUBS….”
We know how that famous quote by Joe Buck ends. There was no more fitting way for a 108-year old curse being broken than seeing the two cornerstone pieces being involved in the final play. Kris Bryant will probably tell you no award he has won will come close to holding the World Series trophy, but we cannot forget what he did that regular season.
Bryant in 2016 was the first Chicago Cub to win the NL MVP award since Sammy Sosa in 1998. The team that won 103 regular season games saw their All Star third baseman put up a .292/.385/.554 slash with 39 homers, 102 RBI, 148 wRC+, .939 OPS, and 7.9 fWAR. 77 of his 176 hits that year were XBH and his fielding over at third base with the glove put up a UZR/150 of 4.9.
This was a season where he was pretty much a slam dunk to win the MVP. He was consistently throughout the year among the league’s best in a number of stats. Bryant was the starting third baseman for the National League in the All Star game and even electrified the crowd with a home run off Chris Sale. One of his most memorable games that year was his two-homer game in Los Angeles which propelled the Cubs to an epic comeback win.
In terms of position players, it is really hard to find a better season than Kris Bryant in 2016 this decade.