Photo From: York Dispatch
Alright, baseball fans, this one's for you. Any Phillies fans here? Bryce Harper Fans? I have been hearing a lot about this whole MVP race, and have been hearing the name Bryce Harper quite often. I've been hearing, “he's pretty overrated,” and then hearing the exact opposite with “he deserves more, he is underrated,” it seems like this right fielder's up and down career has created major controversies within his name.
Photo From: Sports Illustrated
We have seen Harper have various peaks throughout his career and it seems as if he has found his groove once again as he carried the Phillies to this point of the season. Former MVP Harper leads the league in weighted runs created plus as well as being second in wins above replacement. But I am here to talk to you guys about this season's MVP race, and if Bryce Harper should once again be named the most valuable player. With tough competition such as Juan Soto and Fernandos Tatis Jr., this last week of regular season contention will be Harper’s last chance to prove why he deserves this title.
Photo From: NBC Sports
We know Bryce Harper to be an outstanding player, from the moment he got drafted, his first game in the MLB, rookie of the year, MVP, we’ve seen it all from him. But it seems that after all that success we saw an exponential downfall from his play resulting in all the questions about Harper's actual game. But, how can one minimize someone's career off of a bump in the road? That 2016 season was very disappointing, especially after winning MVP and having the highest expectations from all viewers. Harper is one of the most controversial professorial baseball players we are currently witnessing, some even undermine his MVP season by saying he was just getting lucky on balls in play and fly balls.
Photo From: CBS Sports
After that unexpected 2016 season, we have seen Harper’s production rise and rise to this moment. After signing the biggest free-agent contract in Major League Baseball history, a 330 million dollar deal to the Phillies right as the 2019 season began. Six seasons after his MVP season Harper is back to playing like the MVP we once knew. We are currently seeing him do what seems like everything he can to get the Phillies to the postseason. Haper’s .435 wOBA, along with his 173 wRC+ only back-ups how great of a season he is truly having. This season can only show that he can repeat as MVP, but is he doing enough? Making the postseason can only secure his chances of getting MVP, but do the Phillies have enough to top the Braves? Another MVP would really quiet those Bryce Harper doubters.
Photo From: Yahoo! Sports
As I am writing this article I am watching game two of the Phillies/Braves series, where Atlanta leads 1-0. I am hoping Harper and the Phillies can pull off this win, to boost their confidence before they play the Braves again tomorrow. The Phillies head to Miami after this series where they surprisingly have a challenge winning there, but they need to bring out their best game if they want a chance at the postseason. If the Phillies lose tonight they need to go 4-0. Is that possible with this team? How bad does Harper need these wins to secure his name as MVP?
Photo From: Washingtonian
So, that was all written last night before/during the game. Now it is the morning after. The Phillies lost, they got crushed. 7-2. They will play each other once again tonight, and they NEED TO WIN if they want to be a part of the postseason. Bryce Harper did not have a good game last night but hopefully he can figure it out to lead his team to a victory later today. Bryce Harper has proved himself all season long, but does he need to prove he can lead his team to the playoffs in order to get a better chance at the MVP award. We will see. Do you think any other player has made a better case for MVP? If so, who?