The question: Has Harper peaked?


I picked up my edition of Lindy’s Sports Baseball 2020 Preview yesterday and just got a chance to glance at it this morning. Under the headlines, there’s an interesting article about Bryce Harper, it says, “Bryce Harper: Has He Peaked”?.

So I just had to open the cover and go straight to the article, and examine it. It didn’t go too in depth, but basically summarized that Harper while he had a good season last year, it may be that he won’t be able to duplicate his 2015 season with the Nats, which was his best so far.

Now to my analysis on the subject. I wasn’t really a huge Bryce Harper fan when he was with Washington. Yes, he’s an All-Star, a slugger, all around good player but I just didn’t jump onto his bandwagon as I have with some other players who are in that above All-Star category. I sure would rather have him on the Phillies than to face him on another team though. Coming from the Nationals to the Phillies was a big adjustment for Harper, he grew accustomed to the DC way to doing things, then he’s on the Phillies, a huge adjustment. He did very well his first season with the Phillies, and I think he steps it up and takes it to a level of 2015 this year. Personal thoughts aside, let’s get into some numbers.

The projections on Baseball-Reference.com is for Harper to have a good season in 2020 – 32 HR and 97 RBI. Not a failure by any means, that is what the Phillies expected from him. Last year he had 35 HR and 114 RBI in an adjustment year with a new team. It will be Harper’s 9th MLB season this year, he was just 22 years old in his MVP year of 2015 now he’s 27 and really in the prime of his baseball career. To say he’s peaked is really just a guess, great ballplayers generally get better over time. Let’s look an an overview of some stats on Harper:

Standard Batting
Year Age Tm AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BA OBP SLG Awards
201219WSN533981442692259.270.340.477AS,MVP-30,RoY-1
201320WSN424711162432058.274.368.486AS
201421WSN35241961021332.273.344.423
201522WSN5211181723814299.330.460.649AS,MVP-1,SS
201623WSN506841232422486.243.373.441AS
201724WSN420951342712987.319.413.595AS,MVP-12
201825WSN55010313734034100.249.393.496AS
201926PHI5739814936135114.260.372.510
8 Yr8 Yr8 Yr3879708107121919219635.276.385.512
162 162 162 5801061603333395.276.385.512
WSN WSN WSN 330661092218318184521.279.388.512
PHI PHI PHI 5739814936135114.260.372.510
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/3/2020.

Harper’s stats shows he could probably work on raising his batting average in 2020, and get on base some more. The long ball is good but an all around player is going to get him back on track towards an MVP year instead of just hitting HR’s. Last year he turned in one of his most amount of doubles in his career at 36, the only better year was the 2015 season.

For his age 26 season Harper was in some good company according to the listing on Baseball-Reference.com – he’s compared with Ken Griffey Jr.– Eddie Matthews – and surprise, Mike Trout. No, he’s not an instant Hall of Famer yet, he’s still working his way towards that club, but he’s poised to show why he is one of the Top 10 players in the NL in this writers opinion.

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