“Bryce’s (Harper) 2021 season was one of the greatest in our franchise’s history,” Phillies owner John Middleton said on October 28, “We couldn’t be happier to have him in Phillies pinstripes”
The Phillies signed Bryce Harper to a 13 year, $330 million deal on February 28, 2019, and this is exactly why they signed him.
After an unbelievable 2021 season, Harper has won the MVP of the National League.
This is Harper’s, 29, second MVP since he won the award back in 2015 as a member of the Washington Nationals. He’s the fifth player to win the award in the Phillies’ pinstripes. Chuck Klein (1932), Jim Konstanty (1950), Mike Schmidt (1980, 1981, 1986), Ryan Howard (2006), and Jimmy Rollins (2007) were the others to take home the award.
Harper beat out lefty slugger Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals and electrifying San Diego Padres’ shortstop/outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr.
Harper received 17 first-place votes, nine seconds, and two thirds to finish with 348 points.
Soto also received six first-place votes, with 11 seconds, and seven thirds to finish with 274 points.
Tatis received two first-place votes, five seconds, and 15 thirds to finish with 244 points.
Harper had one heck of a season for the Phillies. He put up such impressive numbers as 35 home runs, 84 RBIs, and 101 runs while slashing an impressive line of .309/.429/.615. His On-Base Plus Slugging of 1.044 made Harper one of only two players in baseball who posted an OPS over 1.000. The only other player who could claim that feat was Toronto Blue Jays’ slugger Vladmir Gurerro Jr. (1.002), who finished second in the American League MVP voting to Shohei Ohtani.
This was a much deserved MVP for Harper, who basically was the Phillies’ offense and nearly led them to their first postseason since 2011.
This was the exact reason the Phils decided to sign Harper in 2019 to such a huge deal. There was just a different vibe when Harper got a big hit, or hit one out of the ball park. When he came up to bat, the crowd ramped up their cheers a little louder than they would for others. He hyped up fans when he stomped on home plate after hitting a home run, or got the fans on their feet after a big double. That’s why they signed him. He brings a different energy to the ballpark than anyone else did for the past 10 years.
He also does a lot of interactions with fans. He talks to and signs autographs for fans before every single game, throws warm-up balls up to the 300-level before every home game, and had a catch with a young fan during a Thursday night game in August.
He’s the man.
Well, well, well deserving of the 2021 NL MVP.