Thursday, July 29, 2021

Over Rated or Under Appreciated?

Bryce Harper has always had huge expectations placed on him since he was drafted number 1 overall in 2010.  He made his MLB Debut in 2012 after only one full season of minor league baseball and became a reserve on the National League All Star Team at the young age of 19.  

Because of the young age he came up people have always placed a sense of envy or jealousy towards Bryce.  Oddly enough his first MLB hit (a double against the Dodgers) had fans "mooning" him just before his hustle double.  The MLB video archive of the game has had the fans cropped out of the frame which you can see on YouTube if you prefer your baseball viewing without drunk men showing their asses at a teenager.  The cropped out video is available here.

In his 7 year career with the Nationals, Bryce made 6 All Star Games.  He also won the Home Run Derby in 2018.  He was the youngest player to unanimously win an MVP when he won it in 2015.  That 2015 season was the only year he finished in the top 10 for MVP votes. 

At the still young age of 28 and as of July 28th 2021, Harper is only 2 home runs away from 250 career homers.  He also has already collected over 1,200 hits and scored 800 runs and drove in over 700 RBI over his career. 

Through his age 28 season according to baseball-reference Bryce Harper has similarity scores comparable to names like Barry Bonds, Darryl Strawberry, Andruw Jones, Reggie Jackson, Jose Canseco, and Justin Upton. 

Since joining the Phillies, Harper hasn't received any MVP votes or been elected to an All Star game.  His former team won the World Series the year he left for Philadelphia and the Phillies despite having one of the largest payrolls in baseball hasn't had a winning season since 2011. 

Many fans are hating on Bryce Harper for his $300+ million contract he signed with the Phillies and say that he is overrated.  Oddly enough Harper has hit more HR per game played in his Philly years (1:4.59 vs 1:5.04) compared to his Washington years. His Runs scored and RBI are nearly identical to those counting stats of Philly vs Washington per game played.  

His slash lines are nearly identical too when comparing his Washington days versus Philly years
Washington .279/.388/.512
Philly .271/.389/.522

So why is there all the hate for Bryce Harper since joining Philadelphia?  Is it because he already has 10 years in the league and many people are more enamored with the "younger guys" like Acuna, Soto, Tatis, Alonso? 

He is definitely the face of the Phillies franchise now and leads the team in On Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage, On Base Plus Slugging, and Stolen Bases.  

I think most fans would wish to see him get more RBI as he is currently 5th on the team in RBI this year behind Hoskins, McCutchen, Realmuto, and Bohm.  I think fans also want to see more home runs from the former MVP as he trails both Hoskins and McCutchen in that category as well. 

I haven't been buying much in the way of new McCutchen cards this year, but I do like that Cutch has been appearing on some cards with Bryce Harper this year.

I want to add those Stadium Club Superstar Duos cards to the collection at some point, but there was one card that really stood out that I had to add to the collection.  

It just so happens to feature the guy who is the face of the Phillies franchise for the next 10 years too.

Below is a dual autograph, dual patch booklet card of two former MVP Winners playing the corner outfield spots for the City of Brotherly Love.  It is limited to only 10 copies and will become one of the cornerstones in my Cutch Phillies collection.
They just so happened to hit back to back homeruns on Tuesday too.

What are your thoughts on Bryce Harper?
Is he over rated? Under appreciated? Over hyped when younger and just above average now?  Is he still on a Cooperstown path?


  1. He is average to me lol. Not ever going to be the big superstar he was pegged, but isn't below average either. So average lol

  2. I think he's really good, and just sort of forgotten because he is so consistently good and not the next hot thing. He's going to end up with more All-Star nods and 500 homers.

  3. Looking at those similarity scores, it's a lot of guys who fell off sharply in their '30s. As a Yankee fan I don't like seeing Giancarlo Stanton on that list, but I'm not surprised either. Only ones who stayed at superstar level in their mid-late 30s were Reggie and Bonds, and Bonds had some chemical help. Reggie was just kind of above-average in his later years anyway.

  4. It's good to see Harper having a solid season. I think when you're getting paid that kind of money, expectations are going to be high. The same thing applies in our hobby. Some collectors opened up their wallets and paid top dollar for his cards and now expect him to have a hall of fame career.