Don't Lose Sight of How Special Kris Bryant's Season Has Been and Other Bullets

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Don’t Lose Sight of How Special Kris Bryant’s Season Has Been and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

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  • Kris Bryant, who had three hits last night, has hit .346/.433/.625 since the start of August, increasing his season wRC+ to 134 – 21st best in baseball – and his WAR to 5.1. The latter is a mark that, as Michael noted last night, is truly incredible for a rookie, even one as hyped and lauded as Bryant. It’s 11th best in baseball, and puts him on pace to exceed 6.0 wins. Consider that, when the ZiPS projections were released in January, Bryant led the team with 4.3 wins, and I openly and gladly said that would be freaking fantastic. That’s how impressive of a rookie campaign this has been, and I can’t wait to see what this young man does down the stretch, let alone in the coming years.
  • For the record: the 6.0 WAR mark has been met or exceeded just three times by rookies since 2000 – Mike Trout (11.0 (holy sh*t)), Albert Pujols (7.2), and Ichiro Suzuki (6.0). Kris Bryant, my friends, is doing something very, very special.
  • Dan Haren’s outing last night was probably his best with the Cubs (despite allowing the one, obligatory homer – at least this one came against Joey Votto, who’s doing that to everyone lately, and was of the solo variety). It sounds like he intends on trying to nibble a little bit more to avoid hard contact (ESPN). Haren doesn’t give up many walks, and has very good command, so that’s probably the right way to go for @ithrow88.
  • Not throwing 88: Hector Rondon. He touched 100mph in the 9th inning last night for the first time in his career. Beast.
  • You should read Theo Epstein’s comments about Jake Arrieta in this piece. That’s as effusive as praise gets, and it is a reminder of how important makeup/character is (and how much this front office values it).
  • Also in that article: Joe Maddon says he thinks Kris Bryant is sufficiently skilled and athletic that he could play shortstop in the big leagues. In a pinch, I’m sure he could.
  • Kyle Schwarber’s big homer wasn’t the only bright spot in his night, which featured a quality walk and a rip-shot single up the middle. He’d been scuffling a little bit, so hopefully he’s turning that right back around.
  • Make sure you don’t scout the stat line on Fernando Rodney’s outing last night, in which he looked pretty good. Here’s video of the homer he gave up if you didn’t see it. Only Rodney looks troubled by the contact, because he knows he missed his spot. But everyone else – Eugenio Suarez, Kyle Schwarber, and the crowd – was shocked that the ball just kept carrying, and barely made it out to the easiest part of the park to go deep. Suarez literally stops at second because, presumably, he thought there’s no way that pop up went out of the park. In fact, ESPN’s Home Run Tracker shows that the ball would have left … ZERO BALLPARKS. In other words, under normal weather conditions, that ball doesn’t leave any ballpark in baseball, including Wrigley Field. I’ve actually never seen that on the tracker before.
  • If you set aside your fandom for a moment, I think you can say fairly that any order of these three pitchers, as of today, is not unreasonable:

  • If you’re asking me, as of this moment, I probably go Kershaw, Arrieta, Greinke.
  • The Pelicans added a walk from here, but also two more runs, so I think this was the moment it was at peak insanity:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.