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Kris Bryant Significantly Improved Contact AND Power Last Year and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

I’m on my way back home after a rain-soaked visit to Arizona that didn’t feature any actual Spring Training, but did feature a Tom Ricketts interview (and an impromptu interview with one of the Cubs’ folks behind the @Cubs Twitter account).

  • Cubs Insider is rolling out a multi-part interview with Mike Bryant, aka Kris Bryant’s dad, aka Kris Bryant’s swing instructor, and it’s a must-read situation. Last year at this time, there was a whole lot of attention paid to the “leveling” of Bryant’s swing, theoretically intended to cut down on some of the swing and miss in his game (and it would also have the byproduct of maintaining power production regardless of any weather conditions at Wrigley Field). Sure enough, Bryant’s contact rate soared from 66.3% in his rookie year (worst among all qualifiers) to 73.3% in his MVP sophomore campaign (still in the bottom 25 in baseball, but hardly a level where you’re concerned that it will derail his production (obviously)). Moreover, Bryant’s strikeout rate dropped from 30.6% in 2015 (third highest in baseball) to just 22.0% in 2016, which was barely higher than league average (21.1%). Most importantly, it wasn’t mere contact Bryant was making – after all, many players could improve their contact rate and drop their strikeout rate if they sacrificed a little of the power they could otherwise generate in the process. Not Bryant. Not only did his power not suffer for the increased contact, the dude actually *increased* his ISO by nearly 50(!) points.
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  • To which BN’er Courtney, sensing my cold and gross fingers, tweeted this:

  • And sure enough, Courtney’s right. Here’s the Oreo dipper (that’s the five pack, because savings!), for which the reviews are amazing:


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor of Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.

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