Kris Bryant named NL MVP

bryantmvp(Photo by Stephen Green)

Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was today named the National League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Bryant received 29 of the possible 30 first-place votes, and one second place vote, for a total of 415 points. Washington’s Daniel Murphy placed second with 245 points.

Bryant becomes the 11th Most Valuable Player honoree in franchise history, the ninth since the BBWAA began voting for the award in 1931 and the first Cub to win since Sammy Sosa in 1998. Bryant also joins Andre Dawson (1987), Ryne Sandberg (1984), Ernie Banks (two times, 1958 and 1959), Hank Sauer (1952), Phil Cavarretta (1945) and Gabby Hartnett (1935) as BBWAA winners. Rogers Hornsby won the League Award in 1929 and Frank Schulte earned the Chalmers Award in 1911.  Bryant is the youngest MVP in franchise history.

The NL Rookie of the Year a season ago, Bryant has become the first player in franchise history to win both Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player Award at any point with the Cubs. Only four players in major league history have won the MVP a season after winning Rookie of the Year: Bryant, Boston’s Dustin Pedroia (2007 and 2008), Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard (2005 and 2006) and Baltimore’s Cal Ripken Jr. (1982 and 1983).

Bryant batted .292 (176-for-603) with 39 homers, 35 doubles, 102 RBI and 121 runs scored in 155 games this season. He led the National League in runs scored, ranked third in homers, was fourth with a .939 OPS and a .554 slugging percentage and sixth in RBI.  He was the only player in the majors with at least 35 homers, 35 doubles, 100 RBI, 100 runs scored and 75 walks this year. Bryant also led the National League with an 8.3 WAR, the highest mark by a Cub since Sammy Sosa’s 9.2 WAR in 2001.

The 24-year-old was named to the All-Star team for the second season in a row, the first time as a starter. Bryant also became just the second Cubs player to reach 35 home runs in his age 24 season, joining Ernie Banks in 1955.

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