Legends On Deck

Game Of The Week: Harper’s Historic Start

Few players have ever entered the league with as much hype surrounding them as Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. Many of us were well aware of Harper all the way back to his high school days when he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated.

At just age 22 coming into the 2015 season, Harper has already collected a Rookie of the Year award, and twice been named an All-Star in just three seasons. He’d also slugged 55 home runs before his 22nd birthday, ranking 10th all-time behind players like Mickey Mantle and Ken Griffey Jr., and ahead of Ted Williams and Miguel Cabrera.

Somehow, despite all that success, it felt like people thought of Harper as a bust. Perhaps it was the LeBron-like hype, or his struggles with injuries, or being compared to Mike Trout (who is more than a year Bryce’s senior).

Well 2015 seems to be erasing all those doubts, and quieting all those whispers.

Bryce Harper has been the best player in baseball this season by a solid margin. He’s doing things that are remarkable for someone his age. Here’s a look at how some of Harper’s numbers rank across MLB this season:

StatHarperRank (MLB)
HR142nd
AVG.3388th
OBP.4761st
SLG%.7291st
wOBA.4971st
wRC+2161st
WAR2.91st

Sure, it’s early in the season. Thirty-some-odd games doesn’t make a season, but he’s built up the kind of cushion that even some regression would still allow him to challenge Ted Williams’ 1941 campaign for the highest single-season WAR for a player 22-years old or younger (11.0).

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Kirk Cahill

Contributing Writer at Legends On Deck®
Kirk is very knowledgeable of MLB's minor league system and brings a passion for writing about the stars of tomorrow. Kirk is also a contributing writer for MetsMerizedOnline and MetsMinors.net. He is a native New Yorker and lifelong Mets fan. Follow him on Twitter @KirkC_.