Bryce Harper
(Yon Kim/MCT)

If You Think Bryce Harper is Overrated, Think Again

If you go onto YouTube there is more than one video showing Bryce Harper being mercifully booed by baseball fans across the league. There are two videos that stick out, however. They are impactful and ironic. In the beginning, the cavalcade of boos and “overrated” chants are ever so present. So what does the right fielder for the Phillies do next? He crushes the ball well over 400 feet into the night. Bryce Harper isn’t overrated and the facts back up this storied player.

In this time of baseball where sabermetrics rule the landscape and home runs and strikeouts are up at an alarming rate, Bryce Harper type players thrive. In fact, every team could benefit from 33 home runs, a well above average .387 on-base percentage, and an all-star level on-base plus slugging of .900, according to baseball-reference. All these numbers are amazing and as you probably guess, they are Harper’s seasonal averages.

He also had arguably the greatest offensive season of the 2010s in 2015 batting .330 with 42 home runs and a staggering 1.109 on-base plus slugging. He unanimously won the most valuable player award. After this, people put him in the category of Mookie Betts and Mike Trout as high profiled star outfielders. His follow-up seasons didn’t exactly add up but he was still getting on base, which is so sought after in today’s game. In the winter of 2018, Harper was up for free agency and signed with the Philadelphia Phillies for what was once the most expensive sports contract in North American sports at 13 years and $330 million dollars. If he wasn’t being called overrated before, he was now with the money he was earning with Philadelphia.

Long before Bryce Harper broke into the bigs, he was attending the College of Southern Nevada. Around this time, he appeared on the front cover of ESPN being called the “Lebron James of Baseball.” His expectations were through the roof. And guess what. He did exactly what was expected of him from then on. Harper is only 28 years old. The ceiling is still high and he still has the potential for a 2015 season. Simply said, Bryce Harper isn’t overrated. Is he worth $330 million? No, but his value to a team is remarkable, and also plays gold glove caliber defense in right field.