Kris Bryant is Performing at an MVP Level Once Again

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Kris Bryant is Performing at an MVP Level Once Again

Chicago Cubs

After a ten-base performance yesterday – two homers and a double – Kris Bryant’s season line is now up to .323/.405/.708 with a 192 wRC+, better than every other player in the National League outside of Ronald Acuña Jr., who is at 194. Ditto on the WAR side, where Bryant’s 1.8 is fourth best in baseball, and second in the NL.

Bryant’s 9 homers also have him tied with Acuña among the leaders in baseball, and his 19 extra-base hits are second in baseball (again, to Acuña). If you had to pick a two-horse race for the NL MVP at the moment, those would obviously be your guys.

To date, Bryant is playing at an MVP level, combining his resurgent bat with quality defense at third base, as well as in left field and right field. When Bryant is healthy, this is more or less who he is. I don’t blame anyone who lost sight of that – it’s been a long time since he’s been this healthy – but I think it’s fair to recognize that Bryant isn’t fluking his way into this performance. By the expected statistics, Bryant is getting fortunate on the power side of things, but his xwOBA is nevertheless the highest of his career (ditto his xwOBAcon). Bryant’s walk rate is spot on to his career average, his strikeout rate is below his career average, and his BABIP is only slightly above his career average. You kinda go through his numbers and they all look normal for him, with ISO being the only exception.

So, then, he might not keep it up QUITE this much power production throughout the year, but even with some falling off there, the slash line and wRC+ are going to remain near the top of the league. And if he stays healthy, he’s going to be there in the MVP conversation come August and September.

More Bryant bits as the former MVP gets more and more deserved attention …

Tom Verducci writes about how Kris Bryant has gotten himself back to form – or at least how his swing was always designed to be this productive:

I don’t blame Patrick Mooney for saying out loud what a lot of folks are thinking:

I am not down for having the trade conversation just yet on Bryant, but I’m not an idiot. If he keeps up this level of performance on a team that keeps up this level of losing, the trade rumors will explode in late June. And if there is not a plausible expectation that the Cubs could extend or re-sign Bryant, then we’ll just have to have that talk when it comes.

By the way, Bryant is more than keeping pace with his MVP season:

It was a great week overall for Bryant, who’ll probably get NL Player of the Week consideration:

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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.