Phillies' Bryce Harper Wins Second NL MVP Award

Bryce Harper was loved by locals when he joined the Philadelphia Phillies in 2019. He signed a contract without a opt-out, showing his l...

Bryce Harper was loved by locals when he joined the Philadelphia Phillies in 2019. He signed a contract without a opt-out, showing his loyalty to a city that demands it. He adopted the Eagles as his favorite football team, dropping the Dallas Cowboys. He’s formed a bromance with the city’s most beloved creature, the Phillie Phanatic, regularly paying homage to the mascot with headbands, crampons, and even a green sports coat.

“It’s great to play baseball every day in this great city,” Harper said Thursday night, adding later, “Be among the fans that we have, all they want you to do is to work hard and try to win and try to be a great player every night.

Indeed, the easiest way to touch the hearts of any fan base is to be the best player in the league. Baseball writers certified him for Harper on Thursday, calling him the winner of the National League’s Most Valuable Player award for the second time in his career, and his first as a Phillie.

Harper, a right fielder, received 17 of the 30 first place votes, ahead of Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals, who had six, and Fernando Tatis of the San Diego Padres, who had two. Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants had four votes for first place, but was fourth in total points.

In addition to Harper playing, the Phillies finished 82-80 and missed the playoffs to extend their drought to 10 seasons. The American League MVP, Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani, also played for a team that missed the playoffs. It’s pretty common for one of the MVPs to miss the playoffs, but this was the first year without a strike since 1987 in which the two failed to make it.

The Phillies, who finished six and a half games behind Atlanta in eastern NL, wouldn’t have fought at all without Harper. He played every second-half game, returning from a victory for the Genesis Cabrera Cardinals in St. Louis on April 28. Harper missed seven of the Phillies’ next eight games and struggled at times to regain his form.

“Everyone goes through their ups and downs in a season; my back and forth was hit with a 97 mph fastball in the cheek and then it hit and slapped my wrist, ”Harper said. “I think for me, once I got a hit in the face, I was sort of like, ‘Oh, I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m squeezing my face, I’m OK to come back’, don’t not knowing that maybe it was a little too early I had to pause and realize that my wrist was still hurting, my face and my mental state was probably not the best.

Harper was ignored for a spot on the NL All-Star Team, but he rested with his family and then punished his opponents after the break with an OPS of 1.188, compared to 0.684 for all the other Phillies. Overall, Harper led the majors in OPS (1.044) and doubles (42) while beating 0.309 with 35 homers and 13 stolen goals.

He is the sixth Phillies player to win the MVP title, after Chuck Klein, Jim Konstanty, Mike Schmidt, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins. With another decade on his 13-year, $ 330 million contract, Harper, who turned 29 last month, has time to join Schmidt as the only player to win more than one for the Phillies. Schmidt – who won in 1980, 1981 and 1986 – announced the award for Harper on MLB Network.

It was the best of Harper’s three seasons in Philadelphia, but all have been strong. Since joining the Phillies, he’s one of only three players – along with Atlanta’s Soto and Freddie Freeman – to have both a .400 base percentage and .500 slugging percentage while playing. at least 300 matches.

Yet while Soto and Freeman helped their teams win titles during this span, the Phillies largely squandered Harper’s performances. Embarrassed by a thin farming system, fragile defense and a weak reliever box, the Phillies are 191-193 since signing. But Harper is optimistic.

“Being able to have the teammates that I have, knowing that I’m going to be with Rhys Hoskins for a long time, knowing that I’m going to be with Zack Wheeler for a long time, JT Realmuto for a long time, these are the guys I want to be with on a daily basis”, Harper said. “I think we thrive on each other.”

This week brought the news that another star is sure to stay in the red stripes for a while. On Tuesday, the Phillies settled a dispute with the designer of the Phanatic, allowing the team to return the mascot to its original glory: hairy, flabby and friend of the MVP.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Phillies' Bryce Harper Wins Second NL MVP Award
Phillies' Bryce Harper Wins Second NL MVP Award
Newsrust - US Top News
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