Nationals Baseball: Bryce Harper Tracker

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bryce Harper Tracker

The Nats gained a game on the Mets last night, just as they did the night before. They are 7.5 back with 17 to play and thanks to those stupid 2007 Mets there's a sense building that the Nats just... might...


You only feel that way because two days ago the Nats were 9.5. If they were 5.5 two days ago and just lost two games you'd be talking doom and how the season was just blown. Think objectively about the situation at hand. 7.5 out on September 17th, before you utter one word. In fact, don't even utter. Talk to me when the Nats are 5 games out or closer. Not a second before.

Bryce Harper

You've probably heard Bryce is only 6 behind the Washington Nationals  record for HRs in a season (46 by Alfonso Soriano in 2006).  Where is he in other single season stats?

Average : .338 (Currently) : 1st
Yuney is actually 2nd, too, believe it or not. Dmitri Young hit .320 in 2007, for the record so Bryce is safely ahead here.

OBP : .467 : 1st
It'll surprise no Nats fan that Nick Johnson is 2nd (.428) and 3rd (.408).  Bryce again comfortably in lead.

SLG : .670 : 1st
Soriano's 2006 was 2nd at .560, another easy win forecasted. (Mike Morse is 3rd at .550 in 2011)

OPS+ : 204 : 1st
Bryce's 1.137 OPS was obviously going to be first (Nick Johnson 2nd at .948) so how about OPS+ to highlight just how much better his season has been in comparison with any other Nats year. Oh yes. 2nd is Werth in 2013 with a 153.

R : 109 : 4th 
Bryce will easily finish in at least 2nd passing '09 Zimm (110) and '14 Rendon (111). '06 Soriano at 119 is a harder goal but certainly reachable.

BB : 112 : 2nd
Adum Dunn walked 116 times in 2009.  Bryce will pass him. Nick Johnson walked 110 for 3rd. 4th place? A mere 84 ('05 Wilkerson).  Nats don't walk.

IBB : 14 : 4th
Top is 16 ('09 Dunn) It was often a R-L-R-R lineup for the Nats (with that 3rd R often garbage) so he got the benefit of that. Bryce could pass it or he could not get a single more IBB. Too situational to judge.

H : 159 : 12th 
Well when you walk as much as Bryce does you aren't going to get a lot of PA. First ('14 Span at 184) is probably out of reach but it's not impossible. More likely would be a finish around 175 if he stays hot and 8th-5th place. 

2B : 34 : 23rd
Bryce hits too many homers to win the doubles ('06 Zimm with 47 - '07 Church is 3rd ). Since Bryce only has 1 triple I'll note here that the leader there is '13 Span with 11 but Bryce is 2nd with 9 in '12.  I'll also throw in here that Alfonso's 41 SB from that 40/40 season still leads the Nats. Nats don't steal bases.

RBI : 92 : 9th 
You probably could have guessed that Bryce wasn't close to leading this category. '06 Zimm does with 110 RBI in a freaky year where he somehow lead the league with AB with RISP by a wide margin. Like hits a possible, but not probable, top finish but a Top 5 season more likely.


JE34 said...

Yes, these Nats tease us by playing well in less consequential games against lousy teams. Pounding the Braves and Phillies is fun, but it used to be more fun.

John Echaniz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JE34 said...

Where does Bryce rank amongst the franchise leaders, going back to Les Expos?

Anonymous said...

Love your blog but why not tackle the MVP debate. Much more interesting than the Nats all time stats. Also, do Harper's comments on MW change anyone's thinking about next year or was his job always secure. Do they mean MW should be a hitting coach and not the manager.

Metsfan said...

There is no MVP debate. Any fan of my Mets that says Cespedes is gonna win the MVP is either trolling or doesn't know baseball. If I had a vote, even I'd vote for Harper. 9.7 WAR. .467 OBP. 40 Bombs. He's going to win by a mile.

Anonymous said...

If I caught that homer last night, I wouldn't give it away for an autograph. I'd tell bryce harper to write me a nice fat check.

Max David said...

Harper: 5 games would constitute either the Mets winning a game against the Yankees OR us losing 1 to the Marlins. That's why I said it had to be 4 games by Sunday which is us sweeping the Marlins (all 4 games) and the Yankees sweeping the Mets. Get them to 4 with 13 and we can talk, because the Mets would hear the dreaded footsteps, 5 maybe even too much. In any case, what we can both agree, whatever miniscule chance they may have, is that anything less than 3 of 4 against the Marlins or a Mets series win against the Mets and we can officially close the book on 2015.

And really, I want NOTHING to do with the Marlins, by far the team I'd least like to be playing right now. Sure, we probably should've won all 3 in Miami, but the fact remains we didn't, and the Marlins are playing cool and free with nothing to lose, plus have that Fernandez guy pitching tomorrow which is pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Harper, what are the odds that the Nats get Bryce to sign a Stanton-like extension this off-season? That would give the fan base something to be happy/excited about after this train wreck of a season.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:46. Zero. Scott Boras is NOT going to let him sign an extension. He' going to be a free agent at 26 and he's going to sign a 350 million dollar deal with the Yankees. Case closed.

Booyah Suckah! said...

Anon 7:32... The Soulless Automaton does not tackle the MVP debate because the Soulless Automaton does not care about the MVP debate. It's voting. People vote for a million different reasons, almost none of which can or should be quantified. And if it can't be quantified, it rarely makes an appearance outside of the comments (and even then, not very often).

That being said, I agree with Metsfan. Even if there were a desire to have the discussion, there IS no discussion. The only two guys who are even close (Goldie and Votto) are ALSO on non-playoff teams. And also, they're not really even close. And don't even say Cespedes. There's a reason there's an MVP for each league.

Bryceroni said...

I find it interesting that suddenly the team looks so much more relaxed in the dugout. Guys look like they're actually enjoying baseball now that the season is over and the pressure is off.

Another note is that Bryce finally came out in support of ole PBN. Not sure what to make of it, but I'm terrified that MW will escape this season with his job. Seems like average fans put away their pithforks and are already more concerned with the Washington football embarrassments.

Harper said...

BS/Anon - BS covers it pretty well. I talked about it a couple times but it boils down to a vote is not a statement of fact (who's better) but opinion (who I FEEL is better) and thus not worth a lot of stress over. (Well not a lot of stress if that vote is for a silly award) We can discuss it in the way guys go at "best player ever" talk in a bar, but with the caveat that hard facts mean as much as "He was nice to my kid"

Anon @ 7:46 / @7:55 - I would never say never but it would have to be at least what he thinks he'll max out on in the open market. Given that might be in the 14/30per range, (350 mill is low) We're looking at 17/30pers so... something like a 500 million dollar deal might keep him from hitting FA. I don't see the Lerners doing that.

JE34 - for career or single season? Career he's going to be way behind so no point looking now. This is his 4th season. Zimm's played 11, Raines 12, Hawk 11, Carter 11, Vlad 8.

Single season
HR : 4th (two Vlad seasons in between him and Soriano)
BA : 3rd (Vlad .345, Moises Alou .339)
OBP : 1st
SLG : 1st
H : 64th! (Vald 206, Al Oliver 204)
R : 8th (Raines scored 133 and 123)
BB : 3rd (Ken Singleton had 123 in '73)
RBI : t35th (Vlad 131, Vlad/Wallach 123)

Short of it - will likey end up 1st OBP, SLG, related. Could end up 1st HR, AVE, BB
outside shot of 1st in R. Chances of 1st in H or RBI drop to 0%

SM said...

Lot of Vlad there. The one I'd like to see Bryce take a run at--it's an outside chance--is Total Bases for one season.

Vladdie's was 379. 400, though, is the magic number.

(400 unjuiced, that is--unlike Sammy Sosa.)

yetanothermetsfan said...

1. bryce harper is the NL MVP and anyone who votes otherwise is an idiot. the fact that a guy who's been in the league for a month and half is in the conversation only goes to show that there is no conversation. the only other position players who should be considered based on individual performance are on worse teams than the nats. greinke might be other only other guy who should get a vote but he's not even a lock for the CY.

2. how come you didn't include expos stats in single season leaders? does MLB consider the nats to be a new franchise? (the expos were my second favorite team growing up, so i always wondered how their legacy followed the the team to DC.)

3. i'm pooping my pants ever so slightly, especially with this bizarro series against the yanks coming up, but i hope the marlins play you guys as tough as they did us.

4. i just wanted to say i enjoyed the posts and comments here. yes, i came for the schadenfreude, but i stayed for the interesting baseball discussion. one baseball fan to others: sorry your season sucked (and presumptively will continue to do so)...i've been there and it feels worse than winning feels good.

yetanothermetsfan said...

5. oh, forgot...what does PBN stand for?

Bryceroni said...

Paint by numbers (Matt Williams)

John C. said...

"PBN" = "Paint By Numbers." A reference to Matt Williams's lack of flexibility, in particular his managerial preference of only using certain players in certain roles regardless of the larger game situation.

Andrew said...

@7:55 Anon

There's a lot in that statement, but first I'd ask what if the Nationals offer that $350 million deal, or even more, before he has a chance to get it from the Yankees? And why are we sure the Yankees would outbid the Nationals, let alone the Dodgers?

And second, I don't think Harper is a guy who will care what Boras "lets" him do. I think he'll do what he wants to do. I'm not in his head so I don't know if that is good for the Nationals or not, but Harper will have plenty of leverage to tell Boras what to do more than the other way around since there's a good chance he'll get the biggest sports contract ever.

Anonymous said...

4.5 to go.

Anonymous said...

If the offense can give you 10-12 runs every game and the starting pitchers can last for 8 innings, then the nationals have a chance. However, if the offense gives the starter a 6 run lead and the starter lasts only 5 innings, then they are doomed. Refer to the last Mets-nats series. In each of those games we held a lead. In fact in two the games, we had a large lead until the bull pen came in. We still have the same lousy pen and there is no reason to believe that there will be a different outcome. There have been two consistent things with the Nats this year--Bryce Harper's outstanding year and a leaky bull pen.

Jay said...

I disagree with the last post. I go along with the school of thought that people that hire Boras do so for one reason - to get the most money possible out of contracts. I agree that Harper won't stay in Washington. I think the Dodgers or the Yankees get him - I'd predict Yankees with Harper's love of NY and Mantle, but who knows.

Does it change your opinion of him if he bolts for another team at 26? What about Strasburg and the shut down? The Nats shut him down and imo were doing the right thing. But he is now likely leaving town next year for another team. The Nats will have shut him down for a failed playoff run in 2014 and that might be it.

I also agree that until it's 4 games Sunday night that it doesn't matter. I think the Nats split with Miami (at best). I think the Mets get killed by the Yankees, but it won't matter - see last statement.

Harper said...

yamf - 2 - Just because that's how most Nats fans see the team. Not as an extension of the Expos, but as a new DC franchise following Senators 1 and Senators 2. It's how most fans in cities see teams that relocate. There is no connection for them to a guy that did great in a city hundreds of miles away so it shouldn't be acknowledged outside of a tip of the hat here and there. I think the NFL had it right when they basically put the Browns franchise in limbo and said the Ravens were something new.

I liked the Expos too (I actually was blogging very breifly about the Expos before they got sold off to be moved) but I think we have to bend toward how the fans actually experience the teams. If a few players get hurt in the franchise record books or a lack of old-timers days or stuff like that, it's an unfortunate but very minor consequence.

Bryceisright said...

Hypothetical 1: Lets say the Lerner's offer Bryce $400 million this off season at 12yr/30mil per. Do you think Bryce would turn this down?

Hypothetical 2: The Lerner's go to Bryce this offseason and tell him they want him in DC for his entire career, what will it take? What kinda of contract would Bryce put in front of them? You think he would ask for around 14/35 (490mil)? More?

Harper said...

1 : Yes. Unless it has an out.
2 : 17 years / 500 million.

Rob said...

17 years/ $500? .... good lawd, what would that do to ticket prices? At some point, these contracts have to get cost prohibitive, right?

WiredHK said...

Rob - not if you stretch it over 100 years, baby!! :)

"Uh, Bryce, we'll pay you and your kids and your grandkids whatever you want, just give us some runway here, ok?"
"How much runway?"
"100 years?"

/Bryce leaves the room, goes and signs deal with Dodgers payable in his lifetime

Rob said...


that would be one way to negotiate I guess.

$30M/yr for 17 yrs. Man, if only I had that kind of talent. If only....sigh.

Bryceroni said...

BTW by the city logic the number to beat is 48 by Frank Howard in 1969.

Section 220 said...

Everyone remember that no sports team owner will lower ticket prices because of lower player salaries. They're charging you what they think the market will bear. Players are getting around 40 percent of baseball revenues these days, which is less than in any other major sport. So, the contracts are nowhere near cost prohibitive.

I don't know whether or not I'd give Bryce that deal (17 years $500 million) but I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with ticket prices.

Anonymous said...

Every comeback projection requires extra optimism at this point. I'm just looking for a meaningful H2H, ie, cut the Mets lead to 3 games. Achieving that much implies we'd be going into Citi Field rolling with momentum on our side with the Mets imploding like it's 2007.

Harper has it about right. If the Nats can reach Monday with a 5 game deficit, that means we'd need to pick up only 2 games over 10. If we gain a modest 1.5 games (say 3-1, Mets 1-2), picking up 3 games over 10 is still reasonable, especially if the Mets are coming off 2 straight series losses and panic is creeping in. If we don't gain ground this weekend, picking up 4 or 5 games over 10 isn't impossible but it'd be a stretch. Of course, we can't afford to lose any more ground.

I know Harper doesn't like to hear about the "stupid 2007 Mets", but the Mets and Nats are almost exactly where the Mets and Phillies were at this point in 2007. I'll take inspiration for a comeback anywhere I can find it. We basically just got back the Marlins series from last weekend. If this weekend goes right, we get back the Mets sweep from last week. Then with a little more help, we play a reeling Mets team for the division. The season isn't over yet.

Max David said...

Welp, that was a nice rally in the 8th there, but too little, too late. Now we really have to win the next 3 and the Mets need to lose next 3 just to get it to Harper's 5 games by weekends end. I wanted it at 4, but I'll take 5. 1 more loss OR 1 more Mets win, and I think we can pull the plug on the season.

BTW, I'm heading down from Connecticut for the games Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Besides Gordon Biersch, any other good bars/restaurants to go to before and or after the game??

BornInDC said...

"Anon @ 7:46 / @7:55 - I would never say never but it would have to be at least what he thinks he'll max out on in the open market. Given that might be in the 14/30per range, (350 mill is low) We're looking at 17/30pers so... something like a 500 million dollar deal might keep him from hitting FA. I don't see the Lerners doing that."

Actually, if the Lerners aren't willing to offer Bryce something like this, the would be incredibly short-sighted and would be ignoring the history of Washington sports franchises. The damage to the Nationals long-term caused by not locking up Bryce long-term could be much more than $30 million per year.

For comparison, consider the history of the Bullets/Wizards vs the Capitals. DC is a much, much bigger basketball town than hockey town, but the Capitals have for years have had an easier time filling their arena than the Bullets/Wizards have. And I would argue that one of the reasons for this is that when Leonsis bought the Caps from Pollin, Leonsis spent the money necessary to compete with the major city franchises in places such as Boston, Philadelphia and New York; Pollin, in contrast, continued to operate on the cheap, as he had done for years and fielded a second rate team.

Leonsis is still digging out of this hole now that he owns The Wizards, who were 13th out of 30 teams in attendance in 2015.

In contrast, the Capitals were 5th out of 30 teams in attendance, just behind Philadelphia and ahead of Boston and the New York Rangers.

Therefore, I think it would be highly dangerous to the future fan support of the Nationals for the Lerners to effectively admit they cannot compete for talent with a team in New York, Boston or Philadelphia. Those are the franchises Washington fans expect their teams to compete with for talent, or the fans will not show up to support the team long-term.

Furthermore, based on at least's Forbes analysis, the Nationals are the 9th most valuable MLB franchise, behind the Mets but ahead of the Phillies.

I personally think the damage to the Nationals brand will be a lot more than $500 million if the Nationals allow Harper to get away. I think a significant portion of the fanbase will never forgive the Nationals' ownership for allowing that to happen.

Also, by 2018, it is possible that Harper might be the only significant star on the Nationals that they can promote with any success.Zimmerman and Werth may be retired and Rendon may never be a dependable everyday player. By 2018, Harper may be worth more to the Nationals than to any other team in baseball for this reason alone.

Booyah Suckah! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Booyah Suckah! said...

Max, there's a couple good options, depending on the last time you were down. New place called Bluejacket, two blocks or so east down Tingey from the stadium. Brewery, cool vibe, great beer, good food.

Also, I'm actually a pretty big fan of the Bullpen. It's a little low-brow for some folks, but I like sitting outside and drinking beer out of a can. And their beer selection is actually pretty good. And it's the only place I know of outside the stadium that you can get Coors Heavy (although I could be wrong). Also, there's been a food truck inside lately that has some really excellent brisket sandwiches.

There's also a new-ish place right next to the Metro entrance called The Big Stick (which I really hope is a Teddy Roosevelt reference, although I don't know for sure). Haven't been yet, but it looks pretty cool. Sports bar vibe, from the look.

And of course, as you said, can't beat a Hefe and some garlic fries from Gordon Biersch.

Anonymous said...

For a Nats fan, I would recommend Annie's Steakhouse in Dupont Circle.

Natsochist said...

@Max, Booyah - The Big Stick is great. Had an outstanding burger there pre-game last homestand, and they have an excellent whiskey selection as well (and amazing Old Fashioneds, if that's your thing). They're right across M street when you leave the Metro, with a big TV outside showing MASN.

I also heartily second the recommendation on Blue Jacket. There's also a BBQ place around the corner from it whose name escapes me at the moment. Same block, though. You'll walk right by it if you're heading to Blue Jacket.

Bullpen - love the atmosphere, hate their beer selection this year. But then, I prefer dark beers or IPAs, and they have nothing remotely close to that this time around. They're also expensive on the drinks - for weekend games, you can get $5 beers at the Scoreboard walk in the stadium pre-first pitch, but those same beers at the Bullpen are $7 or $8.

There's also Justin's Cafe on Half-Street. Good pizza, good beer, good atmosphere, although it's packed pre-game. Get there early enough and you can grab a seat at the table.

JAC said...

Bon Chon chicken is a tremendous option.

Carl said...

I am a big fan of 100 Montaditos on Tingey St. Montaditos are little Spanish-style sandwiches. Good, cheap, and yes there are 100 varieties. Beer and Sangria as well.

The BBQ place Natsochist mentions is called Willie's Brew and Que. I've been there once, it was pretty decent.

Booyah Suckah! said...

Natsochist, Old Fashioneds are absolutely my thing. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll definitely try it.