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What’s Next For Kris Bryant?

Kris Bryant TheScottyZ/Via Flickr


What’s Next For Kris Bryant?

On Thursday night Chicago Cubs 3rd Baseman, Kris Bryant was named the 2016 National League MVP.  This is an amazing award to win as a player, but if you look at Bryant’s career thus far it makes you wonder what is there left for him to do?

Bryant grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada where he played his high school days for Bonanza High School.  He played for the Varsity baseball team all four years of school, where he recorded a .418 batting average, a .958 slugging percentage, 103 hits and a whopping 47 career home runs.  In the summer he played American Legion ball and continued to impress.  He was named to the USA Today All-USA baseball first-team.  In 2010 the Toronto Blue Jays took Bryant in the 18th round, but Bryant decided to pass and enrolled at the University of San Diego.

Kris Bryant attended the University of San Diego, where he played his college career for the San Diego Toreros.  While at the University he made it known that he was someone who was continuing to improve.  In his freshman year he posted a .365 batting average, a .482 on-base percentage, and a .599 slugging percentage, with 9 home runs in his first year.  Once again the awards came calling.  Bryant was named freshman All-American and the West Coast Conference Co-Freshman of the year and Co-Player of the year.

He continued his success into his sophomore year in 2012.  He was named a First Team All-American by Baseball America and later that summer was chosen to play for the USA Collegiate National team.  In his Junior year he showed those power numbers that everyone had heard about.  Bryant hit 31 home runs to lead the nation in home runs.  The 31 home runs were the most home runs by any player since 2011 when the NCAA switched to Composite bats.  His 31 home runs were also more than 223 of the 296 Division I teams hit in the entire season.

In Bryant’s 2013 college season he took home the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy which is given to the top collegiate player in the nation.  As if that wasn’t enough he was also named to the Louisville Slugger First Team All-American team and College Baseball News named him their National Player of the year.


At the end of his 2013 college season Bryant was being looked at by the Houston Astros who had the number one pick in the Major League Baseball draft.  The Astros would go in a different direction when they went with Pitcher Mark Appel with the first pick.  Sitting in the number two spot in the draft was the Luckiest team in baseball, the Chicago Cubs.  The Cubs selected Bryant with the second pick and signed him to a $6.7 million signing bonus.

Bryant would cruise through the Cubs Minor League system rather quickly.  He began with the Boise Hawks and batted .354 with 4 home runs.  He then received a promotion to the Daytona Cubs of the Class-A-Advanced Florida State League.  He hit .333 for Daytona with 5 home runs and helped them win the Class-A Advanced league championship.  After the Advanced League season ended he continued in the Arizona Fall League where he was named the MVP of the League with a .364 average and six more home runs in just 20 games played.

In 2014 Bryant started the season with the Double-A affiliate of the Cubs, the Tennessee Smokies. Again more accolades were heading his way.  In June he competed in the Southern League home run derby which he won and was named to the All-Star team of the league.  Shortly after the Southern League All-Star game Bryant was promoted again to the Iowa Cubs, which is the Chicago Cubs Triple-A affiliate.  After just 68 games in Triple-A and a .355 average and 22 home runs, Bryant was ranked as the best prospect in baseball by Keith Laws mid-season top prospect report.  At the end of the season he was named the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year and won the home run award.

On April 17, 2015, Bryant would finally get the call he had waited on.  He made his début at Wrigley Field against the San Diego Padres.  Bryant would hold off on the power through the month of April, but did .318 in his first month in the Big Leagues.  Bryant would state his case as the future of the Chicago Cubs by batting .265, 7 home runs, 22 RBI, and 16 walks and received the award for NL Rookie of the Month for the month of May.  Bryant would end his Rookie Season adding to the many awards he had already received.  After hitting the most home runs by any Cub rookie ever with 26 and the most RBI with 99 he was named the National League Rookie of the Year for the 2015 season.  Bryant was also named Baseball America’s Rookie of the year for the 2015 season making him the in history to win the Baseball America college player, minor league player, and Major league player of the year.

So lets just take a look at exactly what it is we are talking about when it comes to winning awards by taking a look at the list.

  • 2x College Baseball All-American (2012, 2013)

  • Dick Howser Trophy (2013)

  • Golden Spikes Award (2013)

  • Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year (2014)

  • Baseball America Rookie of the Year (2015)

  • National League Rookie of the Year (2015)

  • National League Hank Aaron Award (2016)

  • National League Most Valuable Player Award (2016)

  • And most importantly for all Cubs fans everywhere, World Series Champ (2016)


Just to make what he has been able to accomplish even more impressive let’s take a look at where he lands historically with these awards.

-With his 2016 MVP award he became only the third player ever to win the Collegiate Golden Spikes Award, Rookie of the Year Award and a League MVP award.  He joined Bryce Harper and Buster Posey as the only 3 to accomplish this feat.

-With the MVP Award he became just the 4th player to win ROY and MVP awards in back-to-back seasons (Cal Ripken, Ryan Howard and Dustin Pedroia).


So I will ask the question again.  What’s next for Kris Bryant?  Back-to-Back World Series champs?  Back-to-Back MVP Awards?  The Triple-Crown?  No-one really knows for sure, but we do know that the sky is the limit for Kris Bryant and he might even exceed that.


Kris Bryant
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