Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was the unanimous choice for 2015 National League Rookie of the Year Award, as announced by the Baseball Writers Association of America on Monday. He’s the 20th player to win the Rookie of the Year Award unanimously and the 11th in the National League.
Bryant was widely-expected to win the award, so the only real question was what the margin of victory would be. He ended up taking all 30 first-place votes. Giants third baseman Matt Duffy finished second in the balloting while Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang finished third.
Bryant was the most-talked about prospect in the game coming into 2015 and lived up to the hype by leading all hitters in home runs during spring training. However, the Cubs sent him down to the minors to begin the season in a decision which was mostly motivated by service time. He made his long-awaited major league debut on April 17 and proved to be worth the wait for Cubs fans, earning his first All-Star selection in July before finishing with a .275/.369/.488 batting line over 151 games.
While Bryant led all National League hitters with 199 strikeouts, he either tied or led all rookies with 26 home runs, 31 doubles, 99 RBI, 87 runs scored, and 77 walks. Among rookies with at least 300 plate appearances, only Randal Grichuk of the Cardinals and Miguel Sano of the Twins bested his .858 OPS. He also stole 13 bases and proved to be sound defensively. The future is bright in Chicago and Bryant might be the biggest reason why.
Bryant is the sixth player in franchise history to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award, joining Billy Williams (1961), Ken Hubbs (1962), Jerome Walton (1989), 1998 (Kerry Wood), and Geovany Soto (2008).
Complete voting results for the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year Award can be found at BBWAA.com.