Accurate or not, a lot of folks felt that his production didn’t match the level of attention that he got from the media and fans.
In fact, for two straight years, MLB players even voted Harper the most overrated player in the league in an anonymous poll.
The narrative became so mainstream that it may have gotten blown out of proportion.
And as a result, Harper isn’t getting the positive attention that he deserves anymore.
He is still one of the best players in baseball, but you wouldn’t know it if you asked around.
bryce harper gets the “overrated” chants for absolutely no reason.
the man is objectively underrated. https://t.co/JC876LvxDK
— logan (@Barrelldelphia) August 3, 2021
Today, we’re going to put some respect on Harper’s name.
He Wasn’t Even Named An All-Star In 2021 Despite Being In The Midst Of An Outstanding Year
Harper is having a stellar campaign in 2021, just like he has in almost every year of his MLB career.
The 28-year-old is batting .302 this season with a .963 OPS, 163 OPS+, 16 home runs, and 25 doubles.
His OPS+ is 63 percent better than league-average.
And despite all of that, he wasn’t even named an All-Star.
All-Star voting is a direct product of fan popularity, so it’s often a really good indication of what the average MLB fan thinks of a player.
In Harper’s case, it’s clear that many fans don’t see him as the superstar player that he really is.
Now that we’ve talked about his 2021 season, let’s take a look at his track record.
His Production Is Consistent Year In And Year Out
You always know what you’re going to get from Harper.
He is a career .278 hitter with a phenomenal .904 OPS, and his season-by-season numbers are never too far off from his career marks.
He has exceptionally high peaks and very palatable valleys.
For instance, when he’s at his best, Harper is capable of performing like the best player in baseball.
Take his 2015 campaign for evidence.
That year, he batted .330 with a 1.109 OPS and 198 OPS+.
He homered 42 times and racked up a 9.7 WAR en route to winning the National League MVP award.
That 2015 season wasn’t just lightning in a bottle, either, because he essentially did it all over again in 2017.
His value statistics weren’t quite the same, but he still batted .319 with a 1.008 OPS and 156 OPS+ that season.
That’s Harper at his best.
At his worst, he is still an excellent big-league player.
His 2014 season was arguably his least productive campaign, and despite that, he still managed to post some really solid numbers.
That’s what superstars do.
He batted .273 that year with a .768 OPS and 111 OPS+, and keep in mind, that was just his age-21 campaign.
He has come a long way since then.
Harper has finished every season of his MLB career with an above-average OPS+.
That tells you all you need to know about his ability to remain productive even when the going gets tough.
The fact that Harper has spent the past few seasons playing for a non-contending team in the Phillies probably isn’t helping his case much.
But that never seems to matter when talking about some of the league’s other star players.
For some reason, the baseball world seems to have it out for this guy, and it’s time for that to change.
Bryce Harper is the most underrated player in baseball
— 𝘼𝙡𝙚𝙭⁹⁹⁹ (@PhiIIiesPlsWin) August 1, 2021
If Harper were to guide the Phillies to a postseason berth in 2021, perhaps fans would start to give him another look.