Instant Analysis: Bryce Harper Takes Home Hank Aaron Award

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies
Sep 11, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper (3) slides safely into third base on the single of first baseman Rhys Hoskins (not pictured) during the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After an incredible offensive season, Phillies Right Fielder Bryce Harper has been rewarded by being named the recipient of the 2021 Hank Aaron award.

Every year, the Hank Aaron award is presented to the player who performs the best offensively in each respective league. Harper, winning the prestigious award for the second time (2015), becomes the second Phillie to win the award (Ryan Howard) and the first player to win since Aaron’s passing earlier this year.

To say that Philadelphia relied on Harper’s bat this season is an incredible understatement. In fact, the 2021 Phillies’ entire offense was Bryce Harper. It started and ended with his effort, energy, and ability, and while the season ended without a playoff trip, it undoubtedly would have been unwatchable without the Phillies’ star.

Harper put up such impressive numbers as 35 home runs, 84 RBIs, and 101 runs while slashing an impressive line of .309/.429/.615 during the season. His OPS (On-Base Plus Slugging) of 1.044 made Harper one of only two players in baseball who boasted an OPS over 1.000. The only other player who could claim that feat was Toronto Blue Jays’ slugger Vladmir Gurerro Jr. (1.002), who won the Hank Aaron award for the American League.

And for those wondering, five out of the last six Hank Aaron award winners also took home the National League MVP.

It truly was a special season for Harper, and while the Phillies’ season ended in utter disappointment, Harper’s season is one that fans can look back on for generations as one of the most impressive offensive seasons in recent Phillies’ memory.

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