Washington Nationals right fielder, Bryce Harper, had one of the best weeks of his career, leading to him being named District on Deck’s player of the week.
Bryce Harper has gotten off to a tremendous start for the Washington Nationals, proving that his sub-par 2016 season was an anomaly. He performed especially well this week, earning District on Deck’s player of the week honors.
Harper set the tone for the week on Sunday with a two-homer game against the Phillies, including a walk-off blast onto the batter’s eye. The Nats played sloppily, but Harper bailed them out, giving them an enormous win before embarking on a ten game road trip.
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On Wednesday in Atlanta, Harper had one of the best games of his career, going four-for-four with two homers and five RBI’s. Judging from this stat line, you’d think a minor-leaguer was pitching, but it was the Braves’ ace, Julio Teheran! Harper has enjoyed quite a bit of success against Teheran over the years, and Wednesday was no different.
Of the Nats’ six games this week, Harper had four multi-hit performances. Saturday was his only game without a hit, yet he still managed to get on base three times! This week, he also scored at least one run in every game and walked in all but one.
Out of qualified players, Harper led the major leagues in runs (ten), hits (12), doubles (four), homers (five), RBI’s (12), batting average (.571), on-base percentage (.679), slugging percentage (1.476), on-base plus slugging (2.155), total bases (31), and extra base hits (nine). Harper was able to lead the major leagues in just about every offensive statistical category, and most of them weren’t even close. He had one of the best offensive weeks in major league history.
He also finished with the third most walks in the league (seven), finishing behind only Freddie Freeman and Paul Goldschmidt. Neither Freeman nor Goldschmidt have much protection in their respective lineups; because of this, opposing pitchers have very little incentive to give them anything to hit.
Harper, on the other hand, has Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman hitting behind him. Murphy and Zimmerman have both gotten off to outstanding starts to the 2017 season, and serve as great protection for Harper.
The fact that Harper finished third in the league in walks, even with Murphy and Zimmerman hitting behind him, is one of the most impressive aspects of his historic week. His plethora of walks showcases his amazing eye and the fear he instills in opposing pitchers.
Much of Harper’s success this week also came against some of the best pitchers in the league. Jerad Eickhoff, Julio Teheran, R.A. Dickey, Matt Harvey, and Jacob deGrom are among the pitchers Harper faced. These are some of the top pitchers in the division, and each provide Harper with difficult at-bats.
Harper had a truly historic week, and played a huge role in the Nats winning six straight games. They are currently in the middle of a grueling road trip, but Harper’s offensive explosion has made the trip a lot easier. So far in 2017, Harper is looking like he did during his 2015 MVP season. Another MVP award is easily within his grasp if he is able to sustain this level of success throughout the season.