Cubs' Kris Bryant unanimously named 2015 NL Rookie of the Year
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was unanimously named the 2015 NL Rookie of the Year Monday.
The announcement was made live on MLB Network. There were actually some technical issues during the broadcast and Bryant didn't know he won the Rookie of the Year award until a few minutes after the announcement, after the technical issues were resolved and the MLB Network crew filled him him.
The 23-year-old Bryant received all 30 first place votes. He's the sixth Cubs player to be named Rookie of the Year, joining Billy Williams (1961), Ken Hubbs (1962), Jerome Walton (1989), Kerry Wood (1998) and Geovany Soto (2008).
Bryant is the 20th player overall and 11th in the National League to win the Rookie of the Year unanimously. Jose Abreu of the White Sox did it last year. Craig Kimbrel was the last NL player to be named Rookie of the Year unanimously. He won the award in 2011.
Furthermore, Bryant is only the 11th third baseman to be named Rookie of the Year and seventh in the NL. Evan Longoria, who won the award in 2008, was the last to do it in either league. The last to do it in the NL was Ryan Braun in 2007.
In 151 games after being called up, Bryant hit .275/.369/.488 (133 OPS+) with 31 doubles, 26 home runs, 99 RBI and 13 stolen bases. He led all NL rookies in doubles, homers, RBI, on-base percentage, runs (87) and WAR (5.9). Believe it or not, Bryant also led the NL with 199 strikeouts.
Bryant came into the season as the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball. He mashed in spring training, the Cubs had him start the season in Triple A for service time reasons, then he was called up in mid April. Bryant made his MLB debut on April 17 as Chicago's cleanup hitter and quickly gained the respect of his veteran teammates.
In 149 games, the 24-year-old Duffy put up a .295/.334/.428 (110 OPS+) batting line with 12 home runs and 4.9 WAR. He replaced the departed Pablo Sandoval at the hot corner. Duffy received 22 second place votes and finished a distant second in the voting.
Kang, 28, hit .287/.355/.461 (124 OPS+) with 15 home runs and 4.0 WAR in 126 games before suffering a season-ending leg injury. He received four second place votes and finished third in the voting, well behind Duffy.
Other players to receive Rookie of the Year votes include Mets righty Noah Syndergaard and Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson. The full NL Rookie voting results can be seen at the Baseball Writers Association of America website.
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