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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: KRIS BRYANT 3B CHICAGO CUBS

Yeah him again.  If it seems like we have been in Crisis Point mode with Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant for a long while now, it is because we have.  A shoulder injury that dogged him for almost all of 2018 and led to depressed offensive numbers across the board for the former MVP and first-round monster are now creeping into a second season as Bryant goes into Wednesday's action with the following digits:

.217
1 HR
6 RBI
10 R
1 SB
22.9 K/9
10.0 BB/9
.279 BABIP

As we have said over and over again in this space, shoulder injuries can be career-derailing ailments not only for a pitcher but a hitter as well.  If not surgically fixed like in Bryant's case, shoulder trouble can sap power and greatly diminish the velocity of the ball coming off the bat.  It is no coincidence that Bryant managed just 13 home runs last season (down from a high of 39 in 2016) and is sitting on only 1 as we write this.  Add in a woeful .217 average and 1 steal and Bryant has been almost a complete zero from a fantasy baseball angle.  Even more troubling is that Bryant's strikeouts have gone up each of the last two years as well, going from 19.2 in 2017 up to 23.4 and 22.9 since.  Finally, Bryant's fly ball rate has dropped dramatically; going from 45.8 in 2016 all the way down to a terrible 34.1 this season.  As we already noted, this is not a coincidence as it appears Bryant is having big trouble generating power and you can't say for a second the shoulder is not to blame.  Where there is smoke there is fire in situations such as this and if I am an owner of Bryant, there is major cause for concern you have a major bust candidate on your roster. 





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