The month of May gave us much more than Stranger Things or Obi-Wan. If you had a chance to take a break from the breadth of streaming options, our friends watching on NBCSN Philly have been enjoying their very own mid-season premiere as Phillies‘ star Bryce Harper has been spectacular to watch in the month of May.
Harper has been a one-man show and just capped off one of his best months as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Although it may not be enough to snag NL Player of the Month, Bryce Harper has quietly put together an extremely efficient May. So as we do, let’s continue to celebrate MV3.
Bryce Harper’s Monster May
Since joining the Phillies in 2019, Bryce Harper’s May OPS of 1.078 would be the third-highest mark of his months in red pinstripes. He only outperformed himself to close out 2021, and we all remember how that ended (1.231 OPS in August and 1.157 OPS in September/October).
|Bryce Harper – August 2021||.337||10||25||.776||1.231|
|Bryce Harper – May 2022||.347||7||18||.684||1.078|
And where he’s ‘lacked’ homers, he’s made up for with hard hits early in the count. Harper’s average exit velocity of 92.5 mph currently ranks 6th in the National League, and with a slugging percentage of 1.030 on the first pitch, it’s all about being aggressive. Although he may not have enough to overtake Mookie Betts‘ 12 homers or Paul Goldschmidt’s 1.288 OPS for NL POTM, Bryce Harper salvaged May for Philadelphia.
Not to mention, he’s keeping pace for NL MVP. With +1000 odds according to FanDuel sportsbook, it might be worth a nut.
Now let’s talk about the schedule because it stunk.
Philadelphia ended the month 10-18, but you can hardly blame it on Harper. Against the Los Angeles Dodgers, no less, the Phillies ended their seven-game bout with a 4-3 advantage, and you can draw a straight line to number three.
In 20 at-bats, Harper mashed three home runs and ran up an OPS of 1.578. When you’re up against the most talented team in the MLB, you need your stars to take over, and he did just that. In fact, fourteen of their 28 games put them up against either the Los Angeles Dodgers or New York Mets, the clubs with the two best records in the National League. That has certainly not made things easy.
|New York Mets||34-17|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||33-16|
|San Diego Padres||30-19|
|San Francisco Giants||27-21|
Max Scherzer, Yu Darvish, Julio Urías, and Max Fried are just a few of the names the Phillies had to face across a schedule boasting a .559 winning percentage in 2022. It makes what Harper did all the more impressive. So as the Phillies hit June eight games under .500 and a run differential squarely planted at zero, they will need more than just Bryce Harper.
As the sun continues to cook us all, let’s draw positives where we can. It was a bad month that only got worse towards the end (I count three losses in extra innings to wrap it up). I know we’re all depressed, but only in year four of his ten-year deal, but it’s hard to argue at least one thing hasn’t gone right.