Four months after capturing the Golden Spikes award as best collegiate player, Chicago Cubs third base prospect Kris Bryant was named MVP of the Arizona Fall League.
Bryant, 21, hit .364 with six home runs and 17 RBI, leading the Mesa Solar Sox to a runner-up finish. He went 0-for-4 against Surprise in a 2-0 loss in the championship game Saturday.
Besides home runs, Bryant also led the fall league in extra base hits (15), slugging percentage (.727), runs scored (22) and total bases (56). The Cubs drafted him No. 2 overall last June and he hit .336 with nine home runs and 32 runs batted in at low and high Class-A ball. The Arizona Fall League is made up of prospects from all 30 teams, some with major league experience. Bryant also made the league's all-star team.
Despite his success since being drafted from the University of San Diego, Bryant isn’t expected to start next season any higher than Double-A.
“One thing we tell our players, ‘You want to move up? Dominate your competition,’” Cubs President Theo Epstein said recently. “Perform. It comes down to performance.”
Bryant has done that at the lower levels of baseball but will need to continue his performance at Double and Triple-A before seeing the big leagues.
“I’ve been impressed by his performance so far,” Epstein said of Bryant. “This was a very advanced college bat who put up historically good power production at the college level.”
Bryant joins Jason Dubois (2003) and Sam Fuld (2007) as the only other Cubs prospects to win the MVP of the Fall League.