Harper Hype vs. Reality
Jul 21, 2012 -- 12:13pm

Just curious to know how many of you think Bryce Harper's performance has lived up to the incredible hype surrounding it?  Let me state the following before I get in too deep.  No matter what the numbers say, he's one of the primary reasons the Nats have emerged as a legit contender in the National League.  Numbers sell his story short.  More on that in a moment.  His hustle, heart, competitiveness, and attitude have passed the eye test every night out.  He's resilient and relentless and while few would say he's a leader on this team at 19 years old, following him wouldn't be the worst thing.  His arrival was necesary, prompted by injuries to Werth and Morse.  Some thought it might be too early.  Those some were wrong. It's obvious he belongs. Afterall, he's an all-star.

With all of that said, in a numbers sport, his aren't overly impressive.  In 71 games, he's a hit eight home runs while driving in 26 RBI's.  Fifty players in the National League have hit more homers and 78 have driven in more RBI's.  Yes, he's played less games than many category leaders but even extrapolating out as if he had played in all 91 of the Nats' games, he'd still only have 10 homers and 33 RBI's. That homer number would be barely top 50.  The RBI number, not even top 50.  His .269 batting average is 42nd in the National League.  His .340 OBP is 36th.  Nothing he's done offensively or defensively sticks out as either brilliant or awful.  Truth is, the mathematical measurement of his peformance says ordinary.

Bottom line, his numbers at this point really don't come close to the hype.  The curious thing is that it doesn't seem to matter.  While his numbers aren't spectacular, the way he plays night-in and night-out is.  And for now, that's good enough. 

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