Washington Nationals News: Bryce Harper Named Finalist For NL MVP


It’s been a great offseason for Bryce Harper. The Washington Nationals right fielder was named the Hank Aaron Award winner in the National League during the World Series. Last night, he was named the NL Most Outstanding Player during the MLB Players’ Choice Awards. Tonight, Harper was announced as a finalist for the National League MVP Award. The other two finalists are Diamondbacks’ first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (.321, 33 HR, 110 RBI’s) and Cincinnati Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto (.314, 29 HR, 80 RBI’s).

The award, which is given by the Baseball Writers Association Of America (BBWAA), will be announced live on MLB Network Thursday, November 19 at 6:00 PM ET. If Harper does win the award, the 23-year-old will be the first Nationals/Expos player in franchise history to win the MVP. You would have to go way back in history to find the last player to win MVP that played in Washington D.C:

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Harper had a historic season in 2015. In 153 games, he had a slash line of .330/.460/.649 with 42 home runs, 99 RBI’s, 118 runs scored, and a 1.109 .OPS. He led the National League in home runs, runs scored, slugging percentage, and .OPS and he was second in the NL in batting average and walks (124).

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It is a unique year in the National League for this award because it is the first time since 1959 that all three MVP finalists did not play in the postseason. In that year, Ernie Banks beat out Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron for the award. Yes, the Washington Nationals did not make the postseason and they were one of the biggest disappointments in baseball, but that shouldn’t take away from Harper’s great season. If you want to look at the sabermetrics, Harper’s 9.3 WAR was the best in the game, so the Nats wouldn’t have been way worse than the 83 win team that they were if Harper wasn’t in the lineup.

If Harper wins the MVP award, it will be the second time he has won an award given out by the BBWAA. Back in 2012, Harper beat Diamondbacks’ pitcher Wade Miley and Reds’ third baseman Todd Frazier for the NL Rookie of the Year. Harper could receive another award this evening, as he is a finalist for the NL Gold Glove Award in right field along with Curtis Granderson of the Mets and Jason Heyward of the St. Louis Cardinals.