Wednesday, October 21, 2015
One of the single greatest offensive seasons ever?
Well we all know that Bryce Harper had an extraordinary season, but just how insane was it. In the 2015 season Harper has a slash line of .330/.460/.649 while qualifying for the batting title. A feat that has only been done 34 times by 14 of some of the greatest players ever such as Ruth, Bonds, and Mantle. If you then account for him having a bWAR of 9.9, the list drops to 20 times by 8 players: Williams, Ruth, Mantle, Hornsby, Gehrig, Foxx, Bonds and Harper. Add in that Bryce Harper did it all at the age of 22 and the list includes just him and first ballot Hall of Famer Ted Williams
42 or more home runs have been hit 227 times, only 8 times by players 22 or younger. A batting average over .330 while qualifying for the batting title has been done 799 times, only 29 times by a player 22 or younger. And a player walking 124 or more times has been accomplished the least often but still 104 times, only 3 times by a player 22 or younger (Harper, Ted Williams, Adam Dunn). But do you know how many times these three items have been done together? 15 times by 6 players, the list of those players is: Ruth, Bonds, Gehrig, Williams, Giambi and Bryce Harper. But that is not all. If you account for his bWAR of 9.9, a feat only done 61 times alone, the list is just Bryce Harper, Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds. Once again accounting for Bryce Harper being 22 and he stands alone.
Not only are his traditional statistical numbers ridiculous but his more advanced statistical numbers only improve upon his season. Harper finished 2015 with an OPS+ of 195 a feat only accomplished 60 times in the history of baseball, this list once again drops to just him and Ted Williams once accounting for him being only 22. His Runs Created in 2015 was 161 which has been done 84 times, he is one of 3 players to do this in their age 22 season, the other two are Joe DiMaggio in 1937 and Ted Williams in 1941. His Situations Runs (RE24/boLI) was a ridiculous 84.345, which has only been done 32 times and Harper is the only one to do it at the age of 22 or younger. The next closest to him in 2015 was Joey Votto who still ended the year far behind at 68.970.
Bryce Harper had one of the greatest offensive seasons ever and arguably the greatest by a player at the age of 22 or younger (Ted Williams vs. Bryce Harper at the age of 22 would be a fun debate). Harper winning National League MVP is a lock and he should honestly win it unanimously.