Kris Bryant, Infield, Chicago Cubs, #17
Date of Birth: 1/4/1992
Birthplace: Las Vegas, Nevada
College: University of San Diego
Current Salary: $652,000
Kris Bryant, infielder for the Chicago Cubs, was first drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010 but he opted for college instead. He was a top player at the University of San Diego, winning the Golden Spikes award and the Dick Howser award in 2013 as the top college player in the United States. He was also named the College Baseball News National Player of the Year.
Bryant was drafted by the Cubs in 2013. He played in their minor league system in 2013 and 2014. During that time, he had 203 hits, 48 doubles, 52 home runs, 142 RBIs, and 197 strikeouts to 97 walks in 175 games. Defensively, as a third baseman, he made 320 assists, 117 putouts, and 27 errors in 160 games. After the 2014 season, Bryant was named the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year.
Bryant played in 151 games with the Cubs in 2015 and he had a strong rookie season, winning the National League Rookie of the Year award. He hit his first major league home run on May 9th and his first grand slam on June 17th. He followed that on July 4th with a home run and his second grand slam. He finished the season with 154 hits, 31 doubles, 26 home runs, 13 stolen bases, 99 RBIs, and a .275 batting average. As the Cubs' third baseman in 144 games, he made 249 assists, 21 double plays, 81 putouts, and 17 errors.
Bryant followed his award winning rookie year with another outstanding season in 2016. He won the National League MVP award and became only the fourth player in MLB history to win the Rookie of the Year award and the MVP award in back-to-back years (the others were Cal Ripken, Jr., Ryan Howard, and Dustin Pedroia). He finished the 2016 season with a .292 batting average, 176 hits, 35 doubles, 39 home runs, and 102 RBIs in 155 games. Defensively, he played all infield positions except second base and all three outfield positions. In 17 postseason games, he batted .308 with 20 hits, including 5 doubles and 3 home runs, and 8 RBIs in 65 at-bats.
Bryant's father played minor league baseball for the Boston Red Sox.