National League Rookie of the Year: Kris Bryant


The staff here at TBOH bringing you Philadelphia Phillies coverage year-round was polled for their choices on the biggest awards in Major League Baseball for the 2015 season, and our unanimous selection as the National League Rookie of the Year was Chicago Cubs 3rd baseman Kris Bryant.

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The 2nd overall pick in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft by the Cubs out of the University of San Diego after winning the Golden Spikes Award that season as the top player in college baseball, Bryant rose quickly through the Chicago minor league system over the last three seasons.

A native of Las Vegas, Nevada, Bryant entered the 2015 season with as much hype as any hitter in recent years. He had won both the 2014 Baseball America and USA Today Minor League Player of the Year honors after tearing up AA and moving on to the AAA level of play. He entered this past season as Baseball America’s top overall prospect in the game.

Bryant finally received his big league call-up just two weeks into the 2015 regular season. In 650 plate appearances over 151 games, Bryant would hit for a .275/.369/.488 slash line with 26 homers, 99 RBI, and 87 runs scored. He accumulated a 5.7 WAR value in helping lead the Cubs to 97 regular season wins and an NL Wildcard berth, achievements that the team last reached in 2008.

Chicago defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Wildcard Game, and then the division-rival Saint Louis Cardinals by 3-1 in the NLDS, before getting swept by the New York Mets in the NLCS. In 6 of the 9 playoff games, Bryant went a combined 2-25 with no production. He had three good games, including a pair of homers, but much as with his TBOH AL ROY counterpart Carlos Correa, his postseason performance was inconsistent.

Bryant did indeed face the Phillies this season, playing in seven games against the Fightin’s. The slugger hit .267 with a pair of home runs and 8 RBI in those games. In Cole Hamels‘ no-hitter, it was Bryant who skied out to deep center field to end the game, a play remembered by many Phillies’ fans due to Odubel Herrera‘s circus catch.

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