Yesterday, Kris Bryant paced the Chicago Cubs offense with a couple home runs – a monster blast and a grand slam – and it was a heck of a lot of fun to watch. Bryant was already taking a (deserved) curtain call in the second inning.
Let’s relive the fun, with Bryant’s first homer, a mammoth no-doubter:
And Bryant’s second homer, which to me looked like a possible bases-clearing double off the bat, and then I remembered it was Kris Bryant:
ESPN’s home run tracker had the first shot at 411 feet and 103.8 mph off the bat. The second one was obviously just enough to get out of the park, but it was also 103.0 mph off the bat. Bryant really crushed both of those balls.
Bryant, who now has 12 homers on the season, is up to a .278/.381/.486 line with a 3.2 WAR … THROUGH ONLY 70 GAMES. Yes, that’s right. I’ll say it again. Kris Bryant has been playing at a 7.5 WAR pace this year.
Know how many players reached that level last year over the full season? One. Mike Trout with an 8.0 WAR.
This pace is unlikely to last over the rest of the season, and, quite frankly, I’m not sure I agree with the defensive evaluation built into the metric (Bryant currently grades as a top five defensive third baseman in the NL, which, with all due love to Bryant’s awesomeness, I’m not sure I see that). But, still: what Bryant has done this year as a rookie is incredible.