The 25: Kris Bryant

In Uncategorized by myles87 Comments

Programming Note: As you may have noticed, posts have become slightly more scarce over the offseason (in which we celebrated the Cubs winning the World Series after a 3-1 deficit). I think that happened for two reasons. The first is that the Cubs won the World Series, so it's sort of like the ending of a book. They reached the promised land, and there wasn't that much more to say. Our need to think about baseball went away for a little while. The second is that the Cubs just didn't do that much in the offseason. With the exception of Wade Davis, the Cubs are basically the same team as they were last year. When that team won the World Series after a 3-1 deficit, there isn't that much to change, but nonetheless it still made a boring offseason. Additionally, I now have baby Russell to tote around, and having 2 kids means less time to blog.

Now that the season is fast approaching, and I've started to get the itch to talk baseball again, I'm hoping to pick up the pace. Hopefully I can convince the other writers to do the same.

I'm going to take a look at the 201 Cubs, starting with the best players and taking a descending order. I'm just sorting by projected WAR (ZIPS). 

Kris Bryant (3B)

In 2016: Fairly decent season, as Bryant slashed .292/.385/.554 with 39 HR, 75 BB, and the NL MVP award and 8.4 WAR.

In 2017: Bryant is projected to slash .274/.372/.512 with 33 HR, 78 BB, and 5.8 WAR.

In Haiku: 

Whistling overhead –
Another ball exploded.
Wears Express clothing.

Kris Bryant is either the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th best baseball player. Number 1 is clearly Mike Trout. I'd have Bryant as number 2, though I'm willing to listen to arguments on either Clayton Kershaw (the best pitcher since Pedro Martinez) or Josh Donaldson (who has slightly more pedigree than Bryant, and similar if not slightly better offensive numbers in a better league [though easier offensive environment]). He's just 25, and he has 15 career WAR. Before 2016, he was a great, but flawed player – he led the league in strikeouts (199!), and the worry was that he wouldn't be able to cut that number without a significant dip in power. Well, he went from 30.6% to 22.0% while increasing his ISO from .213 to .262. When a top-20 offensive player gets better in every way, while getting BETTER at defense, you've got a special player. Bryant used to lead Rizzo off the bag and into the first base line. That stopped in 2016. The only thing that I'm even slightly worried about is the fact that he pulled a LOT of balls last year. He's a shiftable righty, and there aren't that many of those. Honestly, though, who cares? They aren't shifting bums – they shift players who are blistering the ball on the regular. 

One thing you might be able to worry about is how Bryant sort of fell off at the end of the year. In Sept/Oct, he slashed .221/.293/.375 –

Wait. What's that you say? Bryant slashed .308/.400/.523 in the playoffs last year, with 3 HR? Oh, ok, forget I said anything.

Seriously, Bryant is the type of player you can build a team around, and he's one of two players the Cubs have for which that is true. Bryant isn't a free agent until 2022, when he'll cash in to a ridiculous, ridiculous contract. I wouldn't expect a hometown discount, but he's absolutely a player the Cubs will want around for 15 years.

 

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  1. berselius

    I’m going to take a look at the 201 Cubs

    I’m looking forward to the deep dive for the last 100 or so posts in this series.

      Quote  Reply

  2. cerulean

    I don’t want to be too pessimistic, but I think this team has a better than 50% chance of besting their .640 winning average with an outside of being in the conversation for the greatest of all time. And I am factoring 200 games lost to injury from the opening day roster.

    I am such a downer.

      Quote  Reply

  3. Edwin

    dmick89,

    Awesome. Now if the Cubs could only become incredible at drafting they might finally win a World Series, if they don’t lose to the Dodgers in 5 games in the playoffs first.

      Quote  Reply

  4. Author
    myles

    paging JonKneeV –

    Purdue is B1G champs! Seniors this year saw Purdue as last in the Big Ten as freshman. Pretty awesome feeling for them.

      Quote  Reply

  5. Smokestack Lightning

    David Price ——————-> sore elbow

    Baseball ———————–> cruel

      Quote  Reply

  6. Smokestack Lightning

    Myles: Reminder that Arrieta isn’t a Cub next year for this reason and others

    Yep. Also another reason why I never get too excited for a baseball season this early. Too easily snatched away (altho Boston should remain competitive).

      Quote  Reply

  7. Rice in limbo

    MLB & MLBPA approved new rules, one of which seemingly makes Carter Capps’ delivery illegal. His team is trying to clarify but I don’t see how they can circumvent the new wording of the rule.

      Quote  Reply

  8. Smokestack Lightning

    In more injury-to-stars news, David Wright’s body continues to tell David Wright’s brain that it hates baseball. Shoulder impingement being the newest way it has expressed this feeling. More severe neck and back issues to follow if this latest warning is not heeded, it threatens.

      Quote  Reply

  9. Smokestack Lightning

    Rice in limbo:
    MLB & MLBPA approved new rules, one of which seemingly makes Carter Capps’ delivery illegal.His team is trying to clarify but I don’t see how they can circumvent the new wording of the rule.

    Good. Carter Capps’ pitching sorcery is a blight on the otherwise unblemished face of baseball and at odds with the game’s unspoken but but deeply held motto: may the game be as little fun as possible.

      Quote  Reply

  10. Rizzo the Rat

    Source: MLB's interpretation on Capps' delivery has been consistent in recent years. Today's rule addition formalizes that interpretation.

    — Dennis Lin (@sdutdennislin) March 2, 2017

    i.e., nothing is changing here.

      Quote  Reply

  11. Rizzo the Rat

    And allowing him to do multiple hops would be ridiculous. You might as well allow him to hop all the way to the catcher and drop the ball in his glove.

      Quote  Reply

  12. Smokestack Lightning

    Rizzo the Rat:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    It doesn’t seem as though they’re making the delivery he used last year illegal, just the one he’s shown in the bullpen this offseason (with two hops):
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/mlb-has-clarified-its-carter-capps-position/

    Obviously, I am the only one who looks forward to such an unorthodox, silly-looking delivery ending in a 500 ft HR, like the baseball version of this:

      Quote  Reply

  13. Ryno

    ProFootballTalk @ProFootballTalk 3m
    Bills now reportedly leaning toward cutting Tyrod Taylor

    Interesting news for the Bears/49ers fans in the house.

      Quote  Reply

  14. Edwin

    Smokestack Lightning,

    Fun fact about that movie scene: Originally there was supposed to be a long drawn out fight where Indiana Jones gets stabbed in the throat and dies with the movie ending and the Nazi’s winning, but Harrison Ford was sick that day so he opted to use the gun and then just did improv for the rest of the movie.

      Quote  Reply

  15. berselius

    EnricoPallazzo,

    I love that show. I spent the last few weeks plowing through the archives. The episode where KT ‘advertises’ Dollar Shave Club by wishing they could send someone to break into his house and chloroform him is the hardest that I have laughed in months.

      Quote  Reply

  16. EnricoPallazzo

    Myles,

    agreed on both counts. slippery when wet would have been #2 on my list for many reasons. i think taking “stop” as the #1 pick was a questionable choice.

    i am also partial to “slow children at play” because i always used to read it as “SLOW CHILDREN at play” and not “SLOW, children at play”.

      Quote  Reply

  17. EnricoPallazzo

    Berselius:
    EnricoPallazzo,

    Given the number of road trips I have been on, city distance signs would have been high on my list.

    no way, those things are depressing as hell. i always think i’m WAY closer than i really am and would much rather remain in blissful ignorance than be reminded that the next point of reference is like iowa city and it’s still 228 miles away.

      Quote  Reply

  18. Myles

    Vogelbach might end up with the starting 1B spot for Seattke this year. Would be a huge fan of that happening. Kid needs 650 PA in the majors this year.

      Quote  Reply

  19. Ryno

    According to Yahoo’s Charles Robinson, “multiple NFL sources” anticipate free agent Mike Glennon landing a deal worth $14-15 million per year.

    OK, fellas, make sure all your children are tall, white, mediocre back-up QBs.

      Quote  Reply

  20. Ryno

    EnricoPallazzo,

    If you’re as tall, white and mediocre as Mike Glennon, about $15 million.

    If you’re not as tall, black and pretty good, you get cut by the Bills. So don’t let your kids be that.

      Quote  Reply

  21. Ryno

    Or how about Davis Webb being rumored as a first-round pick.

    That’s Davis Webb, the tall, white, mediocre QB that lost his starting job to Baker Mayfield AND a true freshman Patrick Mahomes at Tech.

    BTW, that’s Patrick Mahomes, the QB that’s too much of a risk and too raw to go in the first round.

      Quote  Reply

  22. Ryno

    Appearing on 106.7 The Fan in D.C., the Washington Post’s Mike Jones stated the Redskins and GM Scot McCloughan are “headed to a divorce.”

    WAS getting rid of their best front office guy is classic WAS.

      Quote  Reply

  23. EnricoPallazzo

    berselius:
    EnricoPallazzo,

    I love that show. I spent the last few weeks plowing through the archives. The episode where KT ‘advertises’ Dollar Shave Club by wishing they could send someone to break into his house and chloroform him is the hardest that I have laughed in months.

    the currency draft is REALLY good

      Quote  Reply

  24. berselius

    Ryno:
    Or how about Davis Webb being rumored as a first-round pick.

    That’s Davis Webb, the tall, white, mediocre QB that lost his starting job to Baker Mayfield AND a true freshman Patrick Mahomes at Tech.

    BTW, that’s Patrick Mahomes, the QB that’s too much of a risk and too raw to go in the first round.

    He’s no Christian Hackenberg, my frent, that’s for sure.

      Quote  Reply

  25. Edwin

    POOR PEOPLE: “I’d like some healthcare, please.”

    GOP: “Well well well, looks like Mr. “I went out to Applebee’s last week and ordered Apps” wants to stay alive by receiving some healthcare. Nice try, moneybags.”

      Quote  Reply

  26. dmick89

    Edwin,

    For some reason I seem to remember thinking that he did a really good job. It’s possible I’m thinking of someone else, but I think it was him and I was really impressed.

      Quote  Reply

  27. dmick89

    I searched back through the comments and yeah, I thought ARod was really good during the postgame. I was also reminded of how stupid Pete Rose is so maybe ARod seemed to be so good only in comparison to that idiot.

      Quote  Reply

  28. berselius

    Rizzo the Rat:
    The defending world champions of baseball have fallen to Italy.

    I have to double check the CBA, but I think this means that Anthony Rizzo is now the president of the United States.

      Quote  Reply

  29. Rizzo the Rat

    I think the U.S. is under Italian rule now. I don’t mind except that I don’t speak Italian and I’m not keen on converting to Catholicism.

      Quote  Reply

  30. Rizzo the Rat

    I still prefer the system of determining our leaders through baseball contests over the current election process, however.

      Quote  Reply

  31. Ryno

    While I think Kirk Cousins is overrated by most, I think I’m warming to the idea of SF trading for him. Especially if it’s Cousins and 17 for SF’s 2.

    If my choice is the best non-Myles Garrett in the draft or Cousins and say…Corey Davis, I’d take the latter.

      Quote  Reply

  32. Ryno

    “Pro Football Spot @pfspot 2m
    MMQB’s Albert Breer reports the Jets and Bills were only willing to offer free agent Mike Glennon $8-10 million per year, and dropped out…”

    That’s quite an overshoot, CHI.

      Quote  Reply

  33. Edwin

    I’m listening to a podcast with some info on Glennon. Apparently, here are th Pro’s:

    -He’s been developed/groomed for the past 4 seasons to be ready to take on a starting role
    -He’s an “accurate” passer.
    -He’s tall
    – He’s a “smart” QB.
    -Throws a “catachable” ball, tight spiral
    -He throws interceptions, but also sometimes throws touchdown passes
    -Very team oriented, accepts his role

      Quote  Reply

  34. Ryno

    “Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
    When Mike Glennon signs with Bears, as expected, it will be a three-year, $45 million deal that includes $19 million guaranteed, per sources”

      Quote  Reply

  35. Ryno

    Edwin:
    I’m listening to a podcast with some info on Glennon.Apparently, here are th Pro’s:

    -He’s been developed/groomed for the past 4 seasons to be ready to take on a starting role

    Of course. Players always improve by not playing.

    Edwin:
    -He’s tall
    – He’s a “smart” QB.
    -Throws a “catachable” ball, tight spiral
    -He throws interceptions, but also sometimes throws touchdown passes
    -Very team oriented, accepts his role

    Sounds like the winning tall-white-mediocre triumvirate to me.

      Quote  Reply

  36. Ryno

    “Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter 2m
    To date, Redskins have shown zero inclination to trade Kirk Cousins and continue to insist they will not.”

    Option 1 – Keep Cousins in 2017, let him walk next year for nothing.
    Option 2 – Keep Cousins in 2017, franchise him and pay him like $35 million in 2018
    Option 3 – Trade Cousins now and receive the compensation to draft your long-term QB.

    WAS: Anything but option 3, please!

      Quote  Reply

  37. berselius

    Ryno, Based on the team's past front office dysfunction, I expect they end up keeping Cousins too long, trading him for pennies on the dollar after trashing him anonymously in the media for months, then making a panic trade to get Brock Osweiler as a bridge to some sixth round QB that Dan Snyder's second cousin once saw play well against Akron. 

      Quote  Reply

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