Bryce Harper Worth Every Penny so Far After 1st Season With Phillies

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By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

After Sunday, the first of at least 13 seasons for Bryce Harper in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform will be complete.

Even though Harper and his teammates failed to secure the franchise's first playoff berth since 2011, it would be inaccurate to say signing the 26-year-old slugger to a then-record-breaking contract was a mistake, at least as of the near-conclusion of his first of 13 seasons.

Through 156 games in red pinstripes, Harper has slashed .259/.372/.511 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 99 walks, 177 strikeouts, 15 stolen bases, and a career-high 114 RBI.

Other 2019 Notables:

  • Harper's 35 home runs are the second-most ever by a Phillies player in his first season with the club, bested only by Hall of Famer Jim Thome's 47 in 2003.
  • Harper's 35 home runs are the most by any Phillies player in 10 seasons, when Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth hit 45 and 36, respectively.
  • Harper has accounted for 15 of the Phillies' 78 stolen bases this season. He has successfully swiped eight bases in a row.
  • Harper has a MLB second-best 15 home runs opposite a left-handed pitcher, only bested by the Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger (18).
  • Harper leads the National League in putouts as a right-fielder (281), as well as outfield assists (13).
  • Phillies with 42 or more extra-base hits in Citizens Bank Park history:
    • Chase Utley, 44, 2006
    • Jimmy Rollins, 42, 2007
    • Jayson Werth, 42, 2010
    • Bryce Harper, 42, 2019
  • Harper is the first Phillies outfielder with more than 110 RBI and more than 70 extra-base hits since Pat Burrell in 2002.

Harper will start in the Phillies' Sunday season finale, batting third. With a team third-best 3.9 WAR, behind only J.T. Realmuto (4.4) and Aaron Nola (4.0), his first season with the team was surely anything but a disappointment.

And, all of those feats came even amid distractions with his expecting wife, and joining a team MLB organization following free agency for the first time in his career. Barring injury, 2020 can only be better.

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