CHICAGO – One of the hottest hitters in the National League since the second week of the season is getting daily inspiration from a Disney movie, of all places. Kris Bryant, the Chicago Cubs' reigning MVP, has been listening to the soundtrack from "Moana" as part of his daily preparation, and the results have been pretty good. Since April 8, Bryant is hitting .364 with a .453 OBP and 1.120 OPS.
“It was on the plane on a road trip,” Bryant said. “I like Disney movies, so I watched it. It was good. The music was good. There’s something about Disney movies that make you feel good, you know?”
Bryant particularly likes the song The Rock performs in the movie -- Dwayne Johnson is his favorite actor -- but he enjoys the entire soundtrack and now listens to it before every game. Why a Disney soundtrack, Bryant was asked?
“People look at me and they’re like, 'He’s got that calm demeanor,' but I actually need to calm myself down,” he explained.
His locker-mate, Anthony Rizzo, “likes” the songs, as well (at least according to Bryant), though he was surprised to hear that Bryant listens to them so often. It’s almost become a superstition for the 25-year-old infielder.
“We all love the songs,” Bryant said. “I told them I’m listening to it and they’re like, ‘You are?’”
Bryant is a fan of Disney shows in general; both he and his wife are Netflix fans and movie buffs. Little did he know he would use "Moana" -- a computer-animated, children's film about an ancient Polynesian curse and a young girl's quest to reverse its course -- to motivate him in the batter’s box. It might seem a sophomoric superstition, but Bryant would be foolish to mess with it, given his recent production. Bryant was hitting .322 with six home runs and 16 RBIs entering Saturday’s game against the New York Yankees after beginning the season 0-for-14. That early-season slump was pre-"Moana," of course.
“I don’t know how they do it, how they’re so successful with it, but they do everything perfect,” Bryant said of Disney. “Their movies are never flops.”