Kris Bryant has shown the player that he can be, but injuries have hindered some of the past few seasons. Can he get back to the player that he once was?
We have seen what the Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant can do when he is fully healthy for an entire season. He won NL Rookie of the Year, NL MVP, and helped the Cubs win a World Series in those two seasons where injuries weren’t a problem. Over the last few seasons, we haven’t seen the same Kris Bryant because of lingering injuries.
Back before the 2015 season, Kris Bryant was supposed to be the guy for the Cubs. He was the guy that the Cubs were going to build around to sustain the success that President Theo Epstein talked about. After not starting the year on the big league roster Bryant did not disappoint when he was finally called up. In 650 plate appearances, Bryant slashed .275/.369/.488 with 26 home runs and 99 RBIs. Helping the Cubs reach the NLCS and he won the NL Rookie of the Year. After seeing Bryant in 2015, this was exactly what the Cubs were hoping for.
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Then 2016 came, and everything seemed to go right for Bryant. He got off to a fast start and didn’t look back for the rest of the year. In 699 plate appearances, Bryant slashed .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI’s. Bryant was a key piece to the Cubs winning their first world championship in 108 years. His numbers were good enough to be the NL MVP. Bryant got off to about as good of a start anyone could have in the big leagues, winning Rookie of the year and MVP in his first two seasons.
Then in the next four seasons, Bryant has battled injuries every season that hindered his performance. In 2017 Bryant was having a good season before suffering an ankle injury in late July. Before the injury, Bryant was batting .264 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI’s. He ended up finishing the season batting .295 with 29 home runs and 73 RBI’s.
In 2018 the injury bug hit Bryant as he injured his shoulder sliding headfirst into first. It zapped all of his power for the rest of the season. After working back to the big leagues, he was not the same guy at all. It looked like his power was all gone. He ended up finishing the season with only 13 home runs and 52 RBI’s. His slugging was way down as it was only .460.
In 2019 Bryant got off to another fast start before an injury in late July held him back once again. Bryant was batting .299 with 20 home runs before suffering the knee injury. He finished the season batting .282 with 31 home runs. They seem like outstanding numbers, and they are but what they could have been without the injury makes people wonder.
Now in 2020, Bryant battled multiple injuries throughout the 60 game season. It was an oblique and a finger injury that held Bryant back in 2020. Bryant only batted .206 with four home runs and 11 RBI’s and missed some time only playing 34 games dealing with the injuries.
Now we have seen what Bryant can do when he is fully healthy and can play almost every single day. He is one of the best players in all of baseball. Now his biggest problem, it seems like it is just staying healthy. Hopefully, in 2021 Bryant can stay healthy and have another season as we saw in 2015/2016.