We have covered a few pitchers in Cal Quantrill and Justin Lawrence, as well as a pair of young outfielders, Hunter Goodman and Brenton Doyle, but today we cover a veteran outfielder. It was pretty easy at the top end of the 2024 player rankings, but three through six was pretty tough; they could be arranged in almost any order.
Kris Bryant's track record earns him the No. 5 spot in our 2024 Rockies Player Rankings
Kris Bryant's time in Colorado has been extremely disappointing, ever since the sluggersigned a seven-year, $182 million contract before the 2022 season. In the last two years, he has combined to play just 122 games. Bryant staying healthy could go a long way in helping the Rockies stay out of the cellar of baseball, after Colorado finished as the second worst team in baseball in 2023.
The 35+ home runs and seven-win season possibilities are probably gone, but Bryant still has the ability to be a really good player for the Rockies. He just hasn't been healthy enough to prove it. Additionally, it's worth noting the final injury that kept him out for 44 games in 2023 was a freak accident (he got hit by a pitch and played a few games with the fracture).
The key thing for a successful season from Bryant is obviously staying healthy. The Rockies will do that by relegating him to first base for 2024. In 2023, Bryant played 47 of the 80 games in right field and spent 25 games at DH. Rockies General Manager Bill Schmidt said that Kris Bryant will be the first baseman in 2024, and it would be surprising to see him in the outfield at all, especially considering the outfield talent the Rockies have and need to see play (Brenton Doyle, Hunter Goodman, Nolan Jones, and Sean Bouchard).
"That was the plan, the second half of the year was to give our young kids an opportunity, and we did that in the outfield."- Bill Schmidt on MLB Network
Bryant is still a really good hitter, and having him play 120-140 games would be a good start for the Rockies to recoup their investment. He is a veteran on this club, and having him healthy for a full season would be invaluable for the young players on this team. Bryant is an older player (turns 32 on January 4) for a rebuilding team, but if the Rockies are hoping to contend in the next couple of years, Bryant is going to play a big part in that and will need to prove it.