Cubs Quick Hits: Kris Bryant’s Steadily Improving Plate Discipline
Kris Bryant’s wRC+ of 142 this year — close to the 149 he put up in 2016 — is still creating MVP-type value even though the general perception is that he has not played to the same level this year.
Despite batting .269 this year, Bryant has produced nearly identical value largely because of a substantial improvement in plate discipline, which has contributed to a ~50 percent increase in walk rate (2016: 10.7%; 2017: 16.3%).
The sparkly-eyed slugger continues to get better and cement himself as one of the league’s most skillful batters. In addition to taking more walks, consider that the he has also increased his contact rate from 73 percent last season to 77. 3 percent here in 2017.
While the timely hitting hasn’t been there for Bryant yet, this type of approach is naturally going to help him come up big in clutch moments. It’s imminent.