WASHINGTON — It seemed the “Bryce Harper is overrated” conversation was over. After all, the guy won the 2015 NL MVP award.
But lo and behold, here we are again.
In a new Insider piece by David Schoenfield for ESPN.com, the topic is revived with a fury. Schoenfield lists the most overrated player for each MLB team. First on that list? The 2015 NL MVP.
While fans generally refer to Harper’s current situation as a slump, it’s fair to wonder if this is closer to what he’ll be for his career or if 2015 will be his norm. His numbers this season aren’t far off from what he put up in each of his first three seasons in the league, with the exception of a career-worst .233 average. If anything, last season looks like the outlier, at least on paper.
But Harper also started this season scorching hot, and most believe he will eventually return to the form he showed off a year ago.
In all fairness, Schoenfield’s intro to the post reads: “What does it mean to be overrated? It doesn’t mean the player is necessarily bad, just not as great as the hype would indicate.”
And it’s not as though Harper is the only star player who makes the list. He’s joined by Giancarlo Stanton (Miami Marlins), Jayson Heyward (Chicago Cubs), Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers), Chris Davis (Baltimore Orioles), David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox) and Albert Pujols (Los Angeles Angels).
Harper was named the most overrated player in the league by his peers two years in a row, but it certainly seemed that was a thing of the past when those same peers named him the NL Outstanding Player.