It’s hard to evaluate Bryce Harper in a clear-eyed way. For reasons both of his own doing and of outside influences, hyperbole tends to overtake reality. He is a player people want to scream about.
As Harper prepares for two months on the sideline, now is a fine time to evaluate him. He has been a big league for two years exactly. We took stock of Harper in today’s Post. For a further black-and-white look, here are some vital stats, and where he ranks among all qualified major leaguers, since the start of 2012:
WAR (Fangraphs version): 8.0, 35th
Batting average: .273, 52nd
On-base percentage: .353, 31st
Slugging percentage: .476, 35th
OPS: .829, 33rd
wOBA (Weighted On-Base Average): .359, 31st
From age 19 through one month of age 21, Harper has basically been one of the best 40 position players in baseball, at least. Among Nationals, Ian Desmond has probably been more valuable, and Jayson Werth has been a better hitter, but no one else can match his overall contribution. Detach his performance from the swirl around him, and it’s something to appreciate.
FROM THE POST
Bryce Harper’s career will be on pause for the next two months, but he’s still plenty young enough to reach his potential.
Anthony Rendon gave hundreds of hometown fans something to cheer in the Nationals’ 7-0 victory over hapless Houston.
FROM YESTERDAY’S JOURNAL
NATS MINOR LEAGUES
Syracuse was off.
Harrisburg was postponed.
Potomac was off.
Hagerstown was postponed.