Bryce Harper Update: Still Owning Everything
Bryce Harper may clinch National League MVP honors by the next month if he keeps this up.
What the Washington Nationals' young right fielder is doing right now is beyond sick. On Wednesday against the Cubs in Chicago, Harper went deep once again, in the sixth inning of the Nats' 3-0 win. He finished 1-for-2 with 2 walks and his 13th home run in the month of May, his 18th overall, tying him with Seattle's Nelson Cruz for the Major League lead.
Consider that last year, Harper hit 13 home runs in 395 plate appearances all season. This year, in one month, he's hit 13.
He's now hitting a robust .333/.472/.750 with a weighted on base average (wOBA) of .502, a weighted runs created (wRC+) of 222, and an insane isolated power (ISO) of .417. In fact, let's take a look at the home run leaderboard for May. It's a sight to behold.
Yes, that's correct. Harper has as many home runs this month as the entire Philadelphia Phillies team and has four more than the Atlanta Braves have hit as a roster. Sure that says as much about the Phillies and Braves, but also indicates just how ridiculously hot Harper has been this month.
Bryce Harper just hit his 13th homer in 19 games. Meanwhile, I've gone to Chipotle 13 times in 19 days.— numberFire (@numberFire) May 28, 2015
There is one interesting thing to note about Harper, and it's something Major League pitchers should probably take a gander at and file away in their memory banks.
Bryce Harper's HRs continue to come against pitches on the outer third and middle-third of the plate pic.twitter.com/tpAuvJggVP— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 28, 2015
So, um, pitchers, maybe try to work him inside a bit more. Because when he gets those arms extended, look out.
But let's not forget that Harper is still a 22-year-old kid who has yet to face a Major League pitcher that is younger than he is.
Bryce Harper homered again. Highest OPS by a 22-year-old: 1.287 - Ted Williams 1.220 - Bryce Harper 1.085 - Joe DiMaggio 1.066 - Jimmie Foxx— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) May 28, 2015
Not bad company, Bryce.
It is perhaps no coincidence that the Nats are 18-6 in the month of May and have won 21 of their last 27 games. My guess is Harper had a bit to do with that.
There seems to be little doubt that Harper is going to be named the National League Player of the Month once June rolls around. The only question is, will he also be named the league's MVP then, too? You know, just to save us all a little bit of time?