ST. LOUIS — Reigning National League MVP Kris Bryant doesn’t seem to know a lot about “all these crazy numbers” used in modern baseball analytics.
But he also seemed happy to learn Tuesday that he had overtaken Washington’s Anthony Rendon for the NL lead in WAR, according to the Fangraphs.com website, on Tuesday – in the final days of a season many consider less productive than last year.
“I think on the surface RBIs are a really nice stat, and it’s just been there for however long this game’s been played,” said Bryant, whose RBIs have dipped from 102 in 2016 to 73 this year as his chances with men in scoring position also has dipped.
“But I guess when you look at the advance stuff maybe it doesn’t mean as much,” he said. “I take pride in just being a complete player, doing everything I can – base running, defense, taking the extra base. I think all of that comes into all those new numbers.
“It’s just a byproduct of wanting to be a complete player.”
Bryant’s batting average is up slightly over last year. He has 10 fewer home runs. He also has worked to drop his strikeout totals from 199 as a rookie, to 154 last year to 126 this year.
He doubled in four at-bats during Tuesday’s 8-7 loss to the Cardinals after going 3-for-4 with a walk and his 29th home run during Monday’s 10-2 victory in St. Louis.
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