This is the first time Bryce Harper has won this distinguished award with the Phillies. His other MVP season came in 2015 with the Washington Nationals. Bryce Harper took just one plate appearance to cement himself as a fan favorite in his first game in 2019.
With the conclusion of his third season in Philadelphia, has Bryce Harper already cemented himself as an all-time Phillies great?
Most Valuable Phillie?
Winning an MVP award for any player is a tremendous honor. Winning the MVP award for the second time can be legendary.
Bryce Harper is just the 32nd player in the history of Major League Baseball to win multiple MVP awards. This puts Harper on the same pedestal as Miguel Cabrera, Cal Ripken Jr., & Willie Mays. Anytime you can be compared to these players, it’s a good thing.
Harper will be 29 entering his fourth year in Philadelphia. With the hope that the Phillies can acquire true MLB caliber talent to surround Bryce in the lineup, you can only expect Harper to repeat with another strong campaign. If Harper can win another MVP trophy in a Phillies uniform, he will be tied with Mike Schmidt with three all-time. While Schmidt won all three with the Phillies, being voted the best player in the game, it’s an accomplishment no matter the uniform.
Numbers Don’t Lie
In today’s game, numbers mean everything. While some do not value advanced statistics as much as others, there is no denying that even the most old-school baseball statistics matter.
Bryce Harper is in line to crush some all-time numbers in Phillies history. Harper’s already the Phillies’ all-time leader in slugging and OPS. While these numbers will fluctuate each season, there’s no doubt Harper will be a top-five finish in these categories.
If Bryce can average 23 home runs with the Phillies for the next ten seasons, he will hit his 300th, 400th, and 500th career home runs with the team. Assuming the right-hander hits on these numbers, he will at the very least finish third place all-time in the Phillies’ home runs list, behind Ryan Howard with 382. There’s minimal potential for him to catch up to Mike Schmidt and his 548 career home run mark.
Throughout his career, Harper has averaged 34 doubles a season. If he were to maintain this average over the next ten years, it would put him just ahead of Schmidt’s 408, with 427 doubles. There is potential for Harper to finish in the top 5 in most offensive categories in Phillies’ history. He will have to continue to play at his Hall of Fame level if he wants to establish himself leaderboard-wise with these all-time Phils greats. But if anyone on the Phils roster can do it, it’ll be number 3.
While individual numbers may be a great thing, there is nothing more important to Philadelphia sports fans than winning.
The city of Philadelphia is not known for championship banners, but this does not stop their passionate fan base from showing up each and every year hoping for championship glory. If Bryce Harper wants to set himself apart from any other fan favorites in Phillies history, he must bring a championship to Philadelphia.
Mike Schmidt and Jimmy Rollins are arguably the number one and number two all-time greats in Phillies lore. What sets Schmidt and Rollins apart from the many other legends to have worn Phillies pinstripes is that they have brought a championship to the City of Brotherly Love.
Fans talk very fondly of Richie Ashburn and John Kruk, important members in Phillies history. However, like many others before them, both were unable to finish the job. Bryce can go to the Hall of Fame, win MVPs and other accolades, and continue to pack the house, but if he cannot bring another title home to Philly, he will never reach the status of Schmidt and Rollins.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire