“It’s a huge honor,” Bryant said on winning the award. “It was a great year, working so hard to get to this point (reaching the major leagues) and being a part of the season we had. It’s a year I’ll never forget.”
Bryant is the sixth player in Cubs history to be named the N.L.’s top rookie since the award was first presented in 1947. The other Cubs to capture the honor include Hall of Famer Billy Williams (1961), Ken Hubbs (1962), Jerome Walton (1989), Kerry Wood (1998) and Geovany Soto (2008).
Bryant set club records for first-year players in homers, RBI, walks (77) and runs scored while batting .275 with a .369 on-base percentage, 13 stolen bases and a .488 slugging percentage.
He finished his debut campaign in the majors one RBI shy of 100, becoming the fourth MLB player to end his rookie season with 99 RBI. The others are Pinky Higgins, 1933 A’s, Willie Montanez, 1971 Phillies and Garrett Atkins, 2007 Rockies. Bryant also became the second rookie to hit two grand slams and two walk-off homers—the only other player to accomplish this feat was Wally Westlake of the Pirates in 1947.
The Cubs’ slugging third baseman became the 21st player to win the Rookie of the Year award by a unanimous vote, the 11th to do so in the National League.