Washington Nationals: Top 10 homegrown players in team history

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2. Bryce Harper

Since gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated as a 16-year-old, Bryce Harper has constantly been in the spotlight. Not long after being named “Baseball’s Chosen One” on the Sports Illustrated cover, Harper was selected first overall in the 2010 draft.

The expectations have always been unachievable, yet Harper has almost achieved them. He debuted as a 19-year-old in 2012, and hit .270 with 22 homers in a partial season as a teenager.

Harper has not looked back since then, being named an All-Star in every season that he was healthy for the Midsummer Classic. Even his one poor season was solid. He played through various injuries in 2016, which led to some struggles. Despite “struggling”, he hit .243 with 24 homers.

The best season of Harper’s career so far was 2015, when he had one of the best individual seasons of all-time. In 153 games, he owned a slash line of .330/.460/.649 to go with his 42 homers and 124 walks.

Despite the Nats not making the playoffs in 2015, Harper was named the unanimous National League MVP. According to FanGraphs, he was worth an incredible 9.5 wins above a replacement player. For reference, Giancarlo Stanton was worth just 6.9 wins above a replacement player in his fantastic MVP season in 2017.

Unfortunately, we may not see Harper donning the curly W for too much longer. His contract expires at the end of the 2018 season, and he will reportedly command $400-500 million in his next contract. If this is the case, the Nats may not be able to afford him, and he would wind up playing elsewhere in 2019.

Regardless of what happens after 2018, Harper has had an amazing career with the Nats so far, and is the second-best homegrown player in team history.

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