Kris Bryant honored for hot start

Cubs prospects Kris Bryant is not only hitting baseballs out of the park at a torrid pace, but he's reaping awards and honors at about the same rate. He was named Southern League Hitter of the Week for May 26-June 1 and was also named the Cubs organizational Player of the Month for May.

Kris Bryant keeps hitting and keeps getting honored. The 22-year-old earned Southern League Hitter of the Week honors on Monday and was then named the Cubs organizational Player of the Month for May.

Bryant led the Southern League with a .407 batting average (44-for-108), 30 runs, seven doubles, 12 home runs, 34 RBI and 17 walks in 29 May games for the Smokies. He posted a league-leading OPS of 1.298, including an on-base percentage of .492 and a slugging percentage of .806, both of which had Bryant as the category leader.

Bryant had multiple hits in 14 of his 29 games, including two four-hit contests and four three-hit contests. He reached safely in 25 games and recorded at least one hit in all but seven games. Bryant was twice named the league's Hitter of the Week (May 5-12 and May 26-June 1).

In earning Player of the Week honors for the second time, he posted a .478 average (11-23), adding seven runs, two doubles, five homers, seven RBI and nine walks

The 6-foot-5 third baseman leads the league this season with a .353 average, a .460 on-base percentage, a .700 slugging percentage, a 1.160 OPS, 50 runs, 73 hits, 19 home runs, 51 RBI and 145 total bases, while his 36 walks rank second. He was named to the 2014 Southern League All-Star Game.

Bryant, the second overall pick of the 2013 draft out of the University of San Diego, is spending his first season at the Double-A level after playing with three clubs last summer. He combined for a .336 batting average with 14 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 32 RBI in 36 games between Rookie League Mesa, Single-A Boise and Single-A Daytona. On November 16, 2013, Bryant was named the Most Valuable Player of the Arizona Fall League, playing for the Mesa Solar Sox.

Bryant's honor marks the third time a Smokies player has been recognized by the Southern League this season with a weekly award, with Bryant also tabbed Hitter of the Week for the time period between May 5-11. Right-hander starter Corey Black was also named the league's Pitcher of the Week for April 21-27. In addition, Bryant is the first Smokies player to earn multiple weekly accolades from the Southern League since the 2010 campaign, when C Robinson Chirinos and RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx were both honored twice as Hitter and Pitcher of the Week respectively that year.


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