Kris Bryant is an All-Star again, but there's room for improvement

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Calling it the "most special" selection for him yet, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant made his third All-Star team just a few months removed from completing rehab on an injured left shoulder that hampered him for much of last season.

"It's just nice when you don't make it for a couple years, then you make it, it's like, 'Yeah, I'm still the same player,'" Bryant said Sunday nfl jerseys for cheap

The All-Star selection comes after some rare criticism, at times, over the past 12 months or so -- albeit mostly on social media. Many simply expected an MVP season every year, especially after Bryant won the award the second season of his career.

He is a deserving All-Star again, but even Bryant would admit that he would like some of his numbers to be better. The 27-year-old sports a .935 OPS as a new month begins on Monday. That mark is higher than in his Rookie of the Year season (.858) and right about the level of his MVP campaign (.939). But there's one stat that has him -- and others -- confused: batting with runners in scoring position.2

Bryant is hitting .196, which is in line with the rest of the team, as the Cubs rank 14th in the National League with runners in scoring position. On Sunday, they went just 2-for-12 in that category in their loss to the Cincinnati Reds, leading to their first losing month since May nike jerseys for cheap

"Your [RBI] opportunities are a lot less," Bryant said. "A couple years ago, I started to put too much pressure on myself because 'Look, there's a dude out there finally.' Then it kind of speeds up a little bit. Sometimes as a unit, I think, we do that. You finally see a guy on third with less than two outs, and you're like, 'I have to get him home, I have to,' and you're pressing, and it doesn't work out. And you're walking back to the dugout, shaking your head.

"I don't think they are pitching us any different with runners on first compared to second or second and third. It's just that sometimes things work out that way."

Interestingly, Bryant has been fairly successful in bringing home a runner from third with fewer than two outs, having delivered eight times in 13 opportunities. That's well above league average. So nothing is cut-and-dried, and any issues he has had, the entire team has experienced. For example, teammate Jason Heyward is hitting a lofty .356 with a man on first and -- you won't be surprised -- just .154 when that runner gets to second.

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