Why Bryce Harper Should Be The Face Of The Nationals
By Ricky Keeler
On Monday, MLB Network announced on the show, Hot Stove, who won the Face Of The Nationals. Fans were allowed to tweet in who they thought would represent the Nationals in their Face Of MLB competition. In the end, it was Jayson Werth who won the voting for the Nats.
I wrote about last week for District On Deck about how Werth has been everything the organization could have asked for, especially with the relevancy he brought to the team when he signed that seven-year, $126 million deal in the winter of 2010. Another part of Werth winning the vote is because of the beard that he has. Even the Nationals’ official twitter account gave credit to Werth’s beard’s twitter account:
Who would I say is the face of the franchise? Coming over to District On Deck from Yanks Go Yard, I thought about who is the one name I associate the most with this franchise. For me, it’s Bryce Harper.
Harper is only 22 years old, so he has plenty of time to be the face in future years, but the Las Vegas native is always going to be compared to Mike Trout in this generation. In 2012, Harper emerged onto the scene, hitting 22 home runs in 139 games.
The now right fielder entering his fourth season always has the comment that seems to resonate with me when he answered the reporter, “That’s a clown question, bro.” Even with the comments aside, he seems to be one of the faces in the game that the younger generation tends to enjoy watching.
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When you are looking for a face of the franchise, you want a player that is going to step up in the clutch and deliver. While the Nationals did lose to the Giants in the NLDS, Harper rose to the occasion with three home runs and four RBI’s in the series. He has four home runs and six RBI’s in nine postseason games.
The problem with Harper is that he doesn’t exactly drive in enough runs. In three seasons, he has averaged slightly below 50 RBI’s per season and his WAR has gone down in each of his three seasons. A face of the franchise needs to be on the field practically every day, something Harper hasn’t done yet.
With Adam LaRoche now with the White Sox, the Nationals will have to rely a little bit more on the 22-year-old to stay healthy and be a consistent run producer for this team to achieve their World Series aspirations. If he can do that, he will be the face of the franchise in years to come, or at least until after the 2019 season, when he is eligible to be a free agent.