Harper is leading the charge in Philadelphia’s late-season push to the postseason. He’s having one of his best seasons since winning the National League MVP with the Washington Nationals in 2015 and is on the verge of winning the award for the second time.
He’s hit 33 home runs with a .314 batting average and a league-leading 1.051 OPS and 183 OPS+ through 131 speletjies.
While the race for the NL MVP is going to come down to the wire, Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt wrote in a column for the Associated Press on Thursday that this year it should belong to Harper. Schmidt said Harper’s performance since Aug. 1 should speak for the outfielder’s case.
“Then came the big turnaround, when the team was under .500. Op Aug. 1, Harper hit three doubles and started the Phillies on an eight-game win streak. He started to play the game, using the opposite field, bunting, aggressive baserunning, hell bent on sparking the team, Citizens Bank Park and grabbing the MVP,” Schmidt wrote.
“Since then the Phillies are 27-21 and in contention. Harper has hit .345 with a league-leading OPS up around 1.250, 17 HR's, 42 RBIs, 40 loop, 36 extra-base hits, and an OBP over .460. He was hitting .385 with runners in scoring position, met 13 walks in those at-bats.”
Schmidt also highlighted the team’s turnaround since losing Rhys Hoskins, who had 27 home runs and a .864 OPS before an injury ended his 2021 hardloop.
“Eenvoudig gestel, what Harper has done is unbelievable. And not just with the bat,” Schmidt added.
“He has walked, stolen a base, scored a run or helped the team with defense. He’s the guy the opposition won’t let beat them, but he finds a way. He sees more left-handed pitchers than any left-handed hitter in history other than Barry Bonds, dit lyk vir my. Imagine, naby aan 50% lefties and the shift, steeds .345 since Aug. 1.
“He’s the MVP!”
Jimmy Rollins was the last Phillies player to win an MVP award. He did it in 2007. Ryan Howard did it in 2006, and Schmidt did it in 1986.
Going into Thursday, the Phillies are fighting for the second NL wild-card spot. If the word “valuable” in the term Most Valuable Player means anything, then Harper would definitely fit the bill. Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Joey Votto are also among the contenders for the award this season.
Associated Press het bygedra tot hierdie verslag.