- Associated Press - Thursday, November 17, 2016

CHICAGO — Chicago Cubs slugger Kris Bryant was voted the NL MVP on Thursday in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Bryant hit .292 with 39 homers and 102 RBIs in just his second year in the majors, helping the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908. He becomes just the sixth player to win rookie of the year and MVP in one or consecutive seasons.

“Kris is just an impressive young man in every aspect,” Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said. “(He) is very mature, professional, light-hearted, but serious at the same time. He’s just kind of a dream player for any organization.”

Bryant received 29 first-place votes, and Washington second baseman Daniel Murphy was the runner-up.

The Las Vegas native is the first NL MVP from the Cubs since Sammy Sosa in 1998 and the seventh overall for the once-forlorn franchise enjoying its best run in decades. First baseman Anthony Rizzo and right fielder Jason Heyward each won a Gold Glove, and Rizzo finished fourth in the MVP balloting. Manager Joe Maddon and pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester also were finalists for major awards this offseason.

Voting by BBWAA members was completed by the start of the playoffs.

Bryant was a runaway winner, grabbing 29 of 30 first-place votes and 415 points. Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy, who batted .347 for the NL East champions, was the runner-up with the other first-place vote and 245 points. Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was third after he was the unanimous winner of the NL Rookie of the Year award on Monday.

Seager will look to follow in Bryant’s footsteps next year.

Bryant was the unanimous NL Rookie of the Year after he hit .275 with 26 homers and 99 RBIs last season. Bryant joins Dustin Pedroia (2007-08), Ryan Howard (2005-06) and Cal Ripken (1982-83) as the only players to go Rookie of the Year-MVP in consecutive seasons. Ichiro Suzuki (2001) and Fred Lynn (1975) are the only players to win the awards in the same year.

 

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