Chicago Cubs: Ranking the top 5 moments of Kris Bryant’s career
Chicago Cubs: Top 5 Kris Bryant Moments – #2: Winning 2016 NL MVP
If the Cubs were fazed by the drubbing at the hands of the Mets in the 2015 NLCS, you’d never know it based on how they started the 2016 campaign.
After a 21-6 start in April, Chicago became an early World Series favorite – and maintained that status as the months rolled on. Backed by a dominant pitching staff, the Cubs carved through teams at a torrid pace. However, the pitching wasn’t the only thing that turned heads on that 2016 club. They also hard a budding superstar on their hands.
During Bryant’s 2016 campaign, he saw 49 more plate appearances than he did the year prior and managed to cut down his strikeout total, as well. Impressively, he ground into only three double plays all year and really began to excel in hitting for power, smacking a total of 77 extra-base hits on the year. Not only that, his ISO against left-handed pitched increased to .327, up from .206 the year before. Bryant was getting stronger and hitting the ball with even more authority.
For the year, the Cubs wound up going 103-59 and Bryant took home National League MVP honors the year after winning Rookie of the Year. He slashed .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI. Chicago now no doubt had a superstar on their hands and there wasn’t anybody in baseball who didn’t know his name. Winning MVP might have been his personal high point – but there’s no doubt it was – and is still today – overshadowed by what he helped the Cubs do, as a team.