As expected, Baseball America has chosen Cubs prospect Kris Bryant as minor league player of the year.
Bryant, who was selected second overall in last year’s draft out of the University of San Diego, hit .325 with a 1.098 OPS and minor league-leading 43 homers in 138 games between Double-A and Triple-A at age 22.
Twins prospect Byron Buxton was Baseball America’s minor league player of the year last season, but he missed most of this year with a wrist injury and then suffered a concussion last month once he finally returned.
Along with Buxton, the previous five winners of the Baseball America award are Wil Myers, Mike Trout, Jeremy Hellickson, and Jason Heyward.
Bryant was not called up to the majors because he’s not required to be on the 40-man roster yet and the Cubs don’t want to start adding to his service time. Last week he expressed some disappointment over the lack of a September call-up, but also said: “I’m realizing this game is a business.”