Kris Bryant is everyone’s minor league player of the year, from USA Today to Baseball America to (soon) the Chicago Cubs. I don’t know if you find the constant adulation tedious, but I find it pretty freaking awesome. And I am more than happy to throw additional praise every time Bryant rakes in another award.
The latest to join in the parade is Yahoo, in a piece written by Jeff Passan. Bryant was the player of the year to Yahoo, and no other player was close.
Incidental to the selection, Passan reminds folks of the pre-season Chicago question of Jose Abreu or Kris Bryant (the comparison was based not only on the Chicago connection, but also the question of whether amateur stateside talent is paid enough), where Bryant was the near universal selection. Would that still hold today, after Abreu’s breakout year at the big league level and Bryant’s all-universe minor league season (with scouting reports to match)? It’s actually a fairly interesting question, and – homer alert? – I think I would still take Bryant, when you consider everything (age, position, contact, production, etc.).
Thoughts on that one?
The Yahoo piece, in addition to naming Bryant the minor league player of the year, also puts together an all-minor league team. Although no other Cubs prospects were starters, there were four honorable mentions: Kyle Schwarber at catcher, Addison Russell at shortstop, Jorge Soler in the outfield, and Armando Rivero in the bullpen. The selections of Schwarber, Russell, and Soler are particularly impressive when you consider that each had a very limited season. It’s just that, well, they absolutely killed it in their limited seasons.
Looking at the other honorable mentions, I could probably make an argument for several other Cubs prospect performances this year, but these lists are hard to winnow down, so I’ve got no argument. The Cubs’ five total prospects were second only to the Red Sox, with eight. I am once again reminded that it’s nice to have the same philosophy – and many of the same people – that built up that depth in Boston now running things in Chicago.