When the Chicago Cubs made third baseman Kris Bryant the second overall pick of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, they hoped that he would develop into a star, but even they could not have imagined what would happen so soon. Bryant made his MLB debut in 2015, and in 151 games he batted .275 with 26 home runs and 99 runs batted in to be named as the National League’s Rookie of the Year. Bryant’s stellar rookie campaign was a part of the Cubs turnaround in 2015 that saw them make their first postseason appearance since 2008, and their first trip to the NLCS since 2003. Bryant would follow his solid rookie campaign up with another stellar performance here in 2016 as he batted .292 with 39 home runs and 102 runs batted in. Chicago finished 2016 with the best record in Major League Baseball and Bryant would go on to help the Cubs win their first World Series Championship last month since 1908 as he was named N.L. MVP. It’s scary good for Bryant as he’s only 24-years of age as he’ll never have to buy another drink with the Chicago city limits, while his nod to be the N.L. MVP is more than likely the first of many.
The Cubs fan base has waiting for a very long time to get behind a player like Bryant. The Cubs have had talented players suit up for them over the years such as Andre Dawson and Sammy Sosa. But neither Dawson or Sosa were homegrown talents. The Cubs have also had their fair share of players come up through their system that had a ton of hype attached to them, only to fizzle out under the pressure, while Bryant has never run from the spotlight as he has embraced it.
Now the sky is the limit for Bryant as he has helped to deliver to World Series Title to an organization that had written the book on championship droughts. Bryant is in line to become the Cubs best third baseman since Ron Santo, while he has the potential to own the City of Chicago due to his athletic ability and boyish good looks as he is on pace to rewrite the franchise’s offensive record book.
It’s tough to pencil a player in to be a future Hall of Famer at the age of 24, but if Bryant is able to maintain the pace that he’s currently on for the next decade, he’ll be on the fast track to Cooperstown.