Can Bryce Harper Produce Another Legendary Season in 2024

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Bryce harper
Bryce Harper celebrates after hitting a solo homer against the Gwinnett Stripers in the first inning while he begins his rebab assignment at Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in Allentown, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022. (Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Bryce Harper is going into his thirteenth MLB season, his sixth as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.

In his time with the Phillies, he has won an NL MVP, NLCS MVP, two silver sluggers, one Hank Aaron, an all-MLB first-team, and was an all-star. It is safe to say that his contract has been worth every penny.

Bryce has racked up quite a trophy room just as a member of the Phillies, but what can we expect from him in the upcoming season?

Improved Defense

Following the Tommy John surgery, the goal was to get Bryce Harper back on the field and Kyle Schwarber off of it. The best route was by Harper going to first base. Doing so would help save the elbow and fill a positional need. He made his first start at first base on July 21 and it looked like a natural fit. It felt like he had been playing the position for his entire life.

I believe, after half a season and a full offseason to prepare, we can look to see Bryce Harper in the gold glove conversation. He already showed great defense at the position and with a full offseason to get ready, knowing he’s going to be the everyday first baseman, it’s not crazy to think he could win a gold glove.

Defense is something the Phillies have sort of struggled with at first base, but it was made up for with the offensive production. With consistent offense combined with the potential for great defense at first base, the infield will be one of the more solid defenses in the league.

Phillies vs marlins Bryce harper
Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper reacts after scoring on a triple by Nick Castellanos during the eighth inning of Game 1 in an NL wild-card baseball playoff series against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Elite Offense

Bryce Harper started to look like Bryce Harper toward the end of the season. No one expected him to hit 30 home runs or hit near .300, but he ended up hitting 21 and was still able to hit .293 despite the major surgery. His surgery hindered his performance, but not as much as it hindered others.

We can expect Bryce Harper to be the same offensive threat that he’s always been. Depending on how the lineup is constructed, we can even expect to see more RBI opportunities for him.

With an offseason filled with preparation rather than rehabilitation, we can expect north of 30 home runs, close to a .300 batting average, and around a .380 OBP.

Harper’s Health

He has battled some injuries the last couple of years, but with the expectation that he is going to stay at first base, we can anticipate Bryce Harper getting close to the 162 games played mark again.

That is something he hasn’t come close to since his first season as a Phillie in 2019 when he played 157. As long as he isn’t jumping into camera wells in an attempt to catch a foul ball all the time, I don’t see why we can’t expect Bryce to have a healthy season.

Another year of Bryce Harper in Phillies pinstripes means another year of fun, clutch moments. There are always high expectations with Bryce Harper, spanning back to his teenage years, but the former #1 overall draft pick never disappoints.

Photo Credit: (Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)