Kris Bryant was drafted by the Cubs as the number two overall pick in the 2013 amateur draft. Bryant was highly scouted by the Houston Astros who had the number one pick that year. The Astros chose pitcher Mark Appel (who is currently out of baseball) and the Cubs gladly scooped up Bryant. Bryant rose quickly through the Cubs system and made his much-anticipated major league debut on this day in 2015.
On that chilly April day at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Bryant went 0 for 4 with three strike outs. Hardly a start to write home about. Bryant tallied his first hit the following day and quickly settled in to his role with the Cubs. He finished the month of May with a .265 batting average, seven home runs, 22 RBIs, and 16 walks, and was named the National League rookie of the month for May. That trend continued throughout the year. He was voted to his first All-Star game and by the end of the season, Bryant was named Rookie of the Year for the National League.
The 2016 season was another momentous year for Bryant. He finished the season hitting .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI, and let’s not forget, a World Series ring. Bryant concluded the 2016 season by winning the National League Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in only his second year in the major leagues. He also became the first player to win a Golden Spikes Award, a Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award, a Rookie of the Year Award, and a Most Valuable Player Award in successive seasons.
In 2017 Bryant hit .295 with 29 home runs and 73 RBI and led the Cubs to their second straight Central Division Championship. In his short major league career Kris Bryant has consistently been one of the best players in baseball. So far for 2018 Bryant is off to a hot start hitting for a .352 average, 8 RBI and 2 HR in just 14 games. His bat has been one of the few bright spots for a Cubs team that is off to a 7-7 record. While the Cubs struggle as a team to score runs, Bryant has stepped up in key situations. Bryant has also stepped up giving his teammates a much-needed lift while Anthony Rizzo was on the DL. There is no doubt that Bryant will help to bring many more championships to the north side of Chicago.
Stats by baseball-reference.com
Photo from chicagotribune.com