Line up your best underdog, shocker, “no way!”, etc. comment: Kris Bryant has been named the Chicago Cubs’ player of the year for 2014.
Preordained since May, that Bryant is receiving this award is, indeed, no surprise. Between AA and AAA, Bryant hit .325/.438/.661 with 43 homers, and is in the midst of collecting honor after award after honor.
He’ll be honored at Wrigley Field before Wednesday’s game, together with Kane County starter Jen-Ho Tseng, who deservedly took home pitcher of the year honors.
Tseng, who pitched all season at age 19, dominated for the Low-A Kane County Cougars in his professional debut. Over 105 innings, Tseng posted a 2.40 ERA (3.28 FIP), a 21.3% strikeout rate, and a microscopic 3.8% walk rate. He mixes good velocity with strong command of his secondary pitches, and overwhelmed older batters with more Stateside pro experience. He is, in short, extremely polished for a 19-year-old.
The Cubs signed Tseng last year as part of their international blitz, paying handsomely ($1.6 million) to get him. Although he doesn’t project as a front-of-the-rotation type, he does look like a future mid-rotation type in the big leagues – and if the polish is as strong as it looks, he could get there sooner rather than later.
Congrats to Tseng and Bryant on a great year.