On February 28th the Philadelphia Phillies signed Bryce Harper to the largest contract not only in baseball history but in North American sports history as well. This was not a surprise to really anyone, but within baseball circles, there is a lot of talk on whether or not Harper is really worth it. Harper won MVP in 2015 but since has only disappointed since.
Last season hit .249, a batting average well below the league average. He did hit 34 home runs but that is not enough to make up for his atrocious average. His new Phillies teammate Rhys Hoskins hit .246 with 34 home runs and only made $552,000 last season. Hoskins is still on his first major league contract but when he hits the market he would be lucky to command a quarter as much money as Harper.
The reason Bryce Harper is getting paid so much is not because of who he is as a player, but because of who he could be. Harper has not lived up to his potential whatsoever aside from 2015, and 2017, in which he was injured nearly half the season. Although a six-time all-star, there is a case that Harper truly only deserves two of those bids. The MLB All-Star game is more or less a popularity contest and statistically, in comparison, Harper does not hold a candle to Trout, Arenado, Betts, Judge, or any other of the games “elites”.
Though only 26 years old, Phillies fans have to be worried if Harper will ever replicate his MVP production. There is no denying that Bryce Harper passes the eye test. He hits home runs that explode off of his bat like few other players. He possesses natural talent like few players to ever play in the MLB, but is potential worth such a large investment?