Postseason and Season Awards: Baseball Essential Staff Predictions

National League Rookie of the Year

Kris Bryant (94%)

Also receiving votes: Matt Duffy (6%)

Many decried Theo Epstein’s thinly veiled plan to keep Kris Bryant in AAA to begin the season as a cheap ploy to gain an extra year of contractual control. Some others feared this would harm the Cubs’ postseason plans. In the end, Kris Bryant was worth the wait for Cubs fans. The symbol of a long rebuild, Bryant was the second of four Cubs rookies who would become fixtures in the lineup, along with Jorge Soler, Addison Russell, and Kyle Schwarber. Despite some struggles during the month of  July, Bryant rebounded nicely as the Cubs gained steam in August and September, on the way to 97 wins, tied with the 2008 team for most wins since 1945. Matt Duffy, meanwhile, became a solid fixture in a Giants lineup that saw injuries plague it all season long.

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