Chicago Cubs: Examining the best draft picks of the decade
Kris Bryant, 3B – 2013 Amateur draft, Round 1 Pick 3
Oh, the ‘what-ifs’ Cubs fans have inevitably faced since the beginning of the 2013 first-year player draft. Chicago carried the number two overall pick, behind only Houston at number one. As the Astros had the pick of the litter, we will always be grateful to know they valued pitching over offense.
Once the Astros selected Mark Appel, a gifted prospect from Stanford University, first overall, it gave Epstein the opportunity for Kris Bryant, which he did not miss. The former San Diego standout worked his way to the big leagues after just two seasons in the minors and was an immediate superstar.
Bryant was named the National League Rookie of the Year in 2015 following a solid .275/.369/.488 performance, 26 home runs, 99 RBI, 13 stolen bases, and a 6.1 WAR. It was the start of something special.
In 2016, Bryant earned National League MVP honors after the then 25-year-old capped off a massive year by slashing .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and a 7.9 WAR. Bryant also helped lead the Cubs to their first world championship in 2018, smashing two home runs in the World Series and making the final out in Game 7.
From 2017 until the present day, Bryant has been one of the best in the game. He has slashed .284/.390/.511 with a 137 wRC+, a .227 ISO, and a 12.4 percent walk rate. The rumor mill is hot on Bryant; however, whether he stays or goes, Bryant will always remain one of the best draft picks of this decade.