Bryce Harper Unanimous MVP For Nats Now, Yankees In The Future
Remember when Bryce Harper was a teenager from Las Vegas hitting tape-measure homers? Well now that he's all grown up... Wait, he's only 23? Well hell, The Kid had a Ruthian year, hitting .330 with 42 HRs and a 1.109 SLG, and was not only named NL MVP, but was a unanimous choice, garnering all 30 1st Place votes. He's the youngest NL MVP since Johnny Bench (Bench wasn't unanimous) and to understand how much of an overachiever he was this year, he's even younger than this year's NL ROY, Kris Bryant.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) November 19, 2015
Behind him in the voting was the D-backs' Paul Goldschmidt:
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) November 19, 2015
And the Reds' Joey Votto:
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) November 19, 2015
Hoorah for all these guys who played for shitty teams. While you'll get no argument from me about Harper deserving the MVP award, it's odd that he became a near-lock because his team was above .500 and Goldschmidt and Votto's teams were not. The Nats were barely above .500 and likely about 10 wins below where they should have been. The Reds gave up midseason, trotting out an all-rookie starting rotation, but the Diamondbacks overachieved relative to how awful the team could have been, and made a run at .500 right up until the last week of the season. If the award were given at midseason, then Goldschmidt is our man. But of course, it's not, and he fell back to Earth in the second half. Sorry, Goldy.
That didn't take long: Under Armour now selling Bryce Harper MVP T-shirts for $34.99.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) November 19, 2015
As the Nats' video above states, the best may indeed be yet to come, but unless they make some offseason moves, they're setting him up to be Ernie Banks: a perennially great player for an insignificant team. And what's worse, when he hits Free Agency, he'll likely bolt for a winning team that can pay him (rhymes with Shmankees). The Nats did make a positive step for the 2016 season by canning "manager" Matt Williams, but that doesn't address their lack of speed, high batter strikeouts, and inability to turn the DP. Unless they clean house, they won't take a sniff at the postseason next year.
Bryce Harper is youngest unanimous MVP in MLB history, and deserving. Papelbon didn't have a vote.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) November 19, 2015
Hey, Harper, "Let's play two!"
Photo via Getty
David Young has been a columnist for ESPN and Sports Illustrated and is one for SportsGrid.