Kris Bryant May Have Something in Common with Stan Musial - Sorry Cardinals Fans

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Kris Bryant May Have Something in Common with Stan Musial – Sorry Cardinals Fans

Chicago Cubs

In an enjoyable read over at Fox Sports, Ken Rosenthal writes about Kris Bryant’s quest for MVP honors this year, and points out a unique overlap between Bryant and Cardinals all-time great Stan Musial. Should Bryant go on to win the MVP, he would join Musial as the only players in big league history to win the award in a season spent splitting time (at least 30 games each) between the infield and the outfield.

We’ve noted for a good long while that Bryant’s versatility – he’s not just positionally flexible, he’s affirmatively good defensively at both the corner infield and corner outfield spots – is what separates him from most of the field in the MVP race, and, increasingly, his offensive numbers are probably going to do the trick anyway. It’s exceedingly rare to find a player so good with the bat also being so good with the glove at multiple spots that moving him around even makes sense, which I suppose is why the factoid noted by Rosenthal is a thing.

Rosenthal goes on to note, by the way, that when Musial won the MVP, he was moved from left field to first base mid-season. Contrast that with Bryant, who bounces among positions on a near daily basis (sometimes in the same game). We’ve not seen an MVP-caliber player like that before, at least not one who can move between the infield and outfield as smoothly and effectively as Bryant. He’s truly a special player, and he leads baseball in WAR for a reason (7.5, at present, just ahead of Mike Trout, at 7.2).

Oh, for what it’s worth: in the MVP year in which he split time between first base and left field, Musial was worth 8.8 WAR. Bryant is currently on pace to hit 9.0.

Give Rosenthal’s piece a read if you’re looking for a smile today.

If you’re looking for an additional smile, you can read the mentions below Rosenthal’s tweet of the article, in which the Best Fans in Baseball – which came in for a mention early in the piece – take issue with the Bryant-Musial comparison (which is not at all what Rosenthal actually wrote):

And, for my part, as I watched Cardinals fans losing it on Twitter – and Cubs fans baiting them – I couldn’t help but drop a little visual trollery on both:

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.