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Bryant is Players Choice as NL's top rookie

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Kris Bryant's breakout rookie season was recognized by his peers, as the third baseman was honored with the Players Choice Award for the National League's Outstanding Rookie for 2015 on Monday night.

Bryant, 23, won over the Giants' Matt Duffy and the Pirates' Jung Ho Kang.

"It's a huge honor for guys you play against day in, day out, to vote for you," Bryant said. "My goal was just to play and help the team win, and I wound up being Rookie of the Year. It was a lot of fun."

Bryant led all rookies in RBIs (99), doubles (31) and runs (87), and was second in walks (77) while batting .275. The only player in Major League history to reach 26 homers, 99 RBIs, 31 doubles, 87 runs and 77 walks in his rookie season was Boston's Ted Williams, in 1939.

The Players Trust will donate $20,000 to the charity of Bryant's choice; he picked the Wounded Warriors Project.

"They're fighting for our freedom," Bryant said on Monday. "Baseball puts you in a position to give back, and to be able to do that means a lot."

Bryant will find out on Nov. 16 whether he'll be honored by the Baseball Writers' Association of America as the top rookie, and he is also in the running for an Esurance MLB Award, with results to be announced on Nov. 20.

In his rookie season, Bryant was named an NL All-Star, and his 26 homers set a Cubs rookie record, topping Billy Williams' mark of 25, set in 1961. Bryant also now holds the franchise record in RBIs, extra-base hits and total bases.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.
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