CLEVELAND - The World Series isn't over yet, but the awards are already rolling in for the Cubs.
Kris Bryant was named the Hank Aaron Award winner Wednesday evening, an accolade for the best hitter in each league. Aaron was on hand at the World Series in Cleveland to hand the award to Bryant.
Bryant led the National League with 121 runs scored while also slugging 39 homers and driving in 102 runs. He hit .292 with a .385 on-base percentage and .554 slugging percentage (for a .939 OPS).
“Well, it’s ‘Hammerin’ KB,’” manager Joe Maddon said. “Just be a young player in KB’s shoes, and to win that award and then have that particular man present it to you, it’s impressive. It’s very impressive at a young age to be considered and then win it. There’s a lot of great competition out there."
After winning Rookie of the Year honors last season, Bryant may also be in line for the NL MVP this year as the anchor of a 103-win Cubs team.
“An award like this for KB could absolutely galvanize his thoughts about himself as a Major League Baseball player," Maddon said. "It’s a great achievement for him. I’m very happy for him. And I know he will humbly accept it in the right way.”
Josh Donaldson was the American League winner last season while Bryce Harper took home the NL honors.
Bryant is the second Cubs player to win the award after Sammy Sosa in 1999 (the first ever Hank Aaron Award). That season, Sosa hit 63 homers with 141 RBI, 114 rusn and a 1.002 OPS.