Just last April, Bryce Harper hit .391 with nine home runs, 26 RBIs, more walks than strikeouts and a Bondsian 1.281 OPS. He hit nine home runs the next two months combined, wholesale cheap nfl jersey china then had a big July and was in the MVP running until he went down with a knee injury in August.
In 2016, he had nine home runs and 24 RBIs in April, slugged .714, had more walks than strikeouts and looked like he would repeat as National League MVP. He hit just 15 home runs the rest of the season, however, and although neither Harper nor the Nationals ever confirmed it, he likely played through some sort of shoulder issue.
In 2015, Harper had five home runs in April and 13 in May, remained healthy all season, had a big September with 10 more home runs and captured MVP honors as he led the NL in homers, runs, on-base percentage and slugging.
There’s little doubt that when Harper is healthy and locked in, he’s as good as any hitter in the game. The hard truth, however, is that he has had just one complete season at that level in his career. It was a monster season, to be sure: 10.0 WAR in that MVP campaign. The only other position players to reach 10 WAR in a season this century are Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez and Mike Trout. Nonetheless, from his rookie season in 2012 through 2017, Harper ranks just 18th in WAR among position players, wedged between Kyle Seager and Freddie Freeman, two players with decidedly fewer magazine covers than Harper.
In Monday’s 8-1 win for the Nationals over the Braves, Harper blasted his third home run in two games, a 425-foot shot off lefty Sean Newcomb. He also walked four times, and even though there were two outs in the ninth when he came up for a sixth plate appearance, the Braves brought in a lefty to face him (Harper grounded out). That’s some serious respect.
In his first four games, Harper is hitting .417/.550/1.167 with six walks and no strikeouts. Yes, he has faced the Reds and then an inexperienced Atlanta starter, but that early walk ratio is perhaps a sign of big things to cheap wholesale nfl jerseys from china come for 2018. In his MVP season, Harper had 109 unintentional walks and 131 strikeouts; in 2016, it was 88 and 117; last year, that ratio dropped to 57 and 99. His chase rate increased from 25 and 24 percent the previous two seasons to 30.6 percent, which led to a higher swinging-strike rate. He still hit .319/.413/.595.