Chicago Cubs: Top 5 Kris Bryant Moments – #3: Winning NL Rookie of the Year
In 2015, Bryant flew out of the gate from the very start, leaving no doubt when it came to whether or not he would pan out in the big leagues. His skillset embodied that of someone who had been in the league several years. Though the strikeouts were high in his first season, he maintained an above-average on-base percentage while drawing 77 walks. Bryant ripped a total of 57 extra-base hits in his rookie campaign, good for more than one-third of his total hits.
The Las Vegas native went on to earn All-Star honors in his very first year as a Cub, slashing .275/.369/.488 with a franchise rookie record 26 home runs and 99 RBI. He also finished 11th in MVP voting, as well – and the Chicago faithful had a new fan favorite on their hands.
Bryant become the sixth Chicago Cubs player to earn the Rookie of the Year honors and the first since Geovany Soto in 2008. Bryant’s rising popularity helped usher in a new era on the North Side as the franchise flipped from the Lovable Losers to surprising winners, making it all the way to the NLCS before ultimately falling to the New York Mets.
But following that sweep at the hands of New York, Chicago was poised to make an even deeper postseason run with Bryant at the center of it all the very next year.