Cubs: Kris Bryant will be team’s leading MVP candidate

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

We are getting closer and closer to Opening Day and the anticipation for the season is building. The Chicago Cubs are getting some intriguing contributions this spring, specifically Joc Pederson and Eric Sogard. Pieces appear to be in place for a successful season in Chicago and with that being said, we look at who on this roster will be the team’s leading candidate for MVP.

A lot of people will want to say Ian Happ based on his breakout 2020. His 12 home runs and .258 average really showed his emergence and that his time spent in Iowa really paid off. This is a follow-up season for Happ to show he has the consistency to be a star for this team.

However, the one name on this roster that is poised to break out is Kris Bryant. Controversial? Yes, but the pieces are in place for Bryant to return to form and be the former MVP we know and love.

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Bryant is off to a slower start this spring, batting .200 through 25 at-bats with an on-base-percentage of .375 and OPS of .735. Obviously we can’t make much of spring and our third baseman can enter this first half of the season comfortable in a Cubs uniform and healthy.

The biggest reason I believe he will come back to form is that he’s finally in the right mental state. He admitted this offseason that he doesn’t care anymore what anyone says or thinks about him and that he wants to get back to having fun playing the game.

Cubs: Kris Bryant is ready to rake

These are two huge steps in the right direction and although it’s not performance related, I believe it has a bigger impact. Bryant has taken a lot of heat over the last few years and has gotten swept up in trade rumors and the media. Seeing him in a place of focus entering 2021 has me very excited to see what he will bring to this team.

Bryant is just one year removed from an All-Star season in 2019 and is still poised to enter the prime of his career. There are trade rumors still being tossed around, but if he’s able to shut them out like he is saying they shouldn’t be an issue for the former MVP.

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He has the opportunity to bring not only himself, but this Cubs team back to life. His back’s against the wall and he’s finally in the right headspace to just play baseball, which is really what it’s all about at the end of the day.