Kris Bryant and the Chicago Cubs seem to be back on track following the MLB All-Star break and are once again viewed as a favorite to win the World Series. They have one of the most potent offenses in Major League Baseball and have a talented starting rotation. Now that they have made additions to their bullpen, the sky is the limit for the Cubs’ 2016 season.
Theo Epstein has been very aggressive so far ahead of the MLB trade deadline. He still could try to make another move before it’s too late to bolster the team’s playoff chances even more.
Mike Montgomery was acquired from the Seattle Mariners, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports originally reported. Next up was the Cubs’ blockbuster acquisition of Aroldis Chapman from the New York Yankees.
Those two moves have energized the Cubs to say the very least and hopefully will have them playing their best baseball down the stretch of the regular season and into the postseason.
While the acquisition of the relievers has made the news a lot, Bryant could very well be the hottest story surrounding the Cubs. He has been a superstar in his second season with the Cubs and has been very consistent on both sides of the diamond. Without him in the lineup, the Cubs’ offense wouldn’t be nearly as lethal as it has been thus far.
Throughout the course of the 2016 season heading into Saturday afternoon’s game with the Mariners, Bryant has recorded a 0.288 batting average to go along with 26 home runs and 68 RBI’s. Those numbers show why Bryant is being viewed as one of the top bats in the entire league.
According to Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated, Bryant has taken the lead in the National League Most Valuable Player race.
At just 24-years-old, Bryant is without question capable of taking his game to a new level. He has not come close to maxing out his full potential. That is a thought that should give opposing managers a nightmare looking into the future forecast of baseball.
It will be interesting to see what the rest of the 2016 season holds for Bryant and the Cubs. They are looking to snap the 108-year-long curse that they are currently under. Joe Maddon and Epstein have made a commitment to bringing a championship back to the north side of Chicago and are doing everything in their power to make that happen for the fans.
If the Cubs are going to win a World Series this season, they will need Bryant to play to the best of his ability. His combination of power, contact, and speed make him a threat each and every time he comes up to bat in any situation.
Bryant has always found ways to rise to the occasion throughout his first two and a half seasons. He has become a leader and one of the faces of the Cubs’ franchise alongside Jake Arrieta and Anthony Rizzo. Epstein and the Cubs’ front office couldn’t have expected the kind of start to Bryant’s career that he has had, but they certainly aren’t complaining.
Expect to see Bryant mentioned in MVP conversations throughout the remainder of the season. He may not end up winning the award and Rizzo could end up beating him out for it as well. Chicago certainly has a special feeling surrounding the Cubs and there is a chance that this is the year that they will finally break through and end the curse.
Do you think Kris Bryant should be the National League MVP? Who do you think are his top competitors? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by Paul Beaty/AP Images]