Bryce Harper
(Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Bryce Harper, National League MVP?

The Philadelphia Phillies lead the National League East for the first since May 8th. Their recent resurgence is largely due to the production of right fielder Bryce Harper. The Phillies are currently on a six-game win streak and have been playing much better since the All-Star Break.

On Friday night against the New York Mets, the Philly faithful began to serenade Harper with “MVP” chants for each at-bat. He later rewarded them with a 2-run 442 ft bomb that would be the difference-maker in their 4-2 victory.

Harper has been absolutely crushing the ball since the All-Star Break. Entering this weekend series, he is hitting an absurd .397/.548/.730 in his last 20 games, with three home runs, 12 doubles, eight RBI’s, and 16 runs scored. With Mets’ Jacob DeGrom’s return being pushed back again, and Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. still recovering from a shoulder injury, the MVP race is wide open in the National League, and Bryce Harper has entered the conversation.

Bryce Harper Controls Phils’ Destiny

A lot of people are going to say, “Well, he’s not top 20 in home runs or even top 100 in RBI’s”. Whoever uses that argument is stupid, there’s no way around it. Harper has been putting the Phillies on his back during this hot stretch, and it is not egregious to say the Phillies’ destiny resides on Bryce’s shoulders. As of August 5th across the National League, he ranks 6th in batting average, 2nd in OBP, 3rd in OPS, and 4th in slugging percentage. The National League East is going to be a dogfight between the Phillies, Mets, and Braves. If the Phillies are going to win the division, it will directly correlate with how well Bryce does the last two months of the regular season.

Harper is Underrated, Not Overrated

For many years, there has been a sentiment that Bryce Harper is overrated. In my opinion, he’s actually pretty underrated. Allow me to explain.

First, he was not an All-Star this season. As we know, All-Star voting is put in the hands of baseball fans, which always allows the right players to be voted into the All-Star Game. While it may not be fair, it does allow us to see who fans really think is the best at their respective position. For Bryce, it’s evident that baseball fans do not regard him as the superstar he is, or at least not in the first half of the season.

Maybe Harper never had eye-opening numbers outside of his 2015 MVP Season, but he is incredibly consistent, and that cannot be denied. His career .278 average and .906 OPS speak for themselves. We know how good Bryce is at his best, we all saw 2015. But what about when he’s at his worst? His worst season was arguably in 2014 when he slashed .273/.344/.423. That was also when he was only 21-years-old. He was a huge factor in the Nationals’ success from 2012-2017, where they won four division titles during that stretch.

The Skies The Limit for Phillies, Harper

With only a 0.5 game lead in the NL East, it’s way too early to call the Phillies Divisional Champs. In fact, they would be back in second place if they drop the next two games to the Mets. However, it’s evident that for the first time all year, the Phillies are playing sound baseball. That is largely in part to Bryce Harper’s surge of production. If he continues to mash, not only will the Phillies win the division, Bryce may be looking at his second MVP Award.

SUBSCRIBE to the Vendetta YouTube Channel!

SHOP for Vendetta Merch!

SUPPORT Vendetta on Patreon!

Monkey Knife Fight Logo for Article Ads

Vendetta Sports Media is sponsored by Monkey Knife Fight, the fastest growing DFS site in the industry. MKF’s unique style and gameplay make betting fun and easy. Use our promo code ‘VENDETTA’ or use the link below to get a 100% instant match on any deposit. Let them know that we sent you!

Sign Up Now!