'09 Classic's Bryant named POY

All American Game : : Story
Jeff Dahn        
Published: Monday, June 06, 2011

The decision Kris Bryant made last summer to forgo signing a professional contract and instead further his baseball career at the University of San Diego now certainly looks to be a sound one.

Bryant, who played in the 2009 All-American Classic (now known as the Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings), late last week was named West Coast Conference co-Player and co-Freshman of the Year. He was also named a third team Louisville Slugger All-American.

A 6-foot-5, 215-pound right-handed hitting third baseman at USD, Bryant shared the two WCC awards with Gonzaga left-hander/first baseman Marco Gonzales.

Bryant, a Las Vegas, Nev., native, was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 18th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, far later than he had been projected to be taken. He had already signed with the Toreros and head coach Rich Hill, and after achieving a 4.7 GPA in high school thanks to straight-A’s in advanced placement courses, decided to head off to college.

Bryant hit .365 with nine home runs, 36 RBI and 57 runs scored while starting all 53 of the Toreros’ games. In 21 WCC games, he led the league in hitting (.410), on-base percentage (.525), runs scored (226) and doubles (11).

He had a 15-game hitting streak from April 8 through May 1 and finished the season with an 11-game hitting streak. The Toreros finished 22-31 overall (11-10 WCC) and didn’t advance to the postseason.

Bryant participated in the Home Run Derby at the 2009 All-American Classic, and reached the six-man finals with Bryce Harper, Justin O’Connor, Yordy Cabrera, Stephan Sabol and Zach Alvord.

All six were selected in the 2010 MLB draft – Harper and O’Conner in the first round with Harper as the No. 1 overall pick – and Harper, O’Conner and Cabrera all signed professional contracts. Sabol and Alvord followed Bryant into the college ranks at Oregon and Auburn, respectively.

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