WASHINGTON — Two major questions emerged from Bryce Harper’s lackluster 2016 season:
1. Was Harper’s 2015 season a fluke or was 2016 a fluke?
2. If Harper’s unbelievable 2015 season is to be considered Harper’s standard or close to it, what happened in 2016?
We’re not going to delve into the specifics here, nor are we going to propose theories of our own. Instead, I’m here to offer you an over-the-top theory presented by Redditor YamborghiniHi. (Warning: theory includes some profanity.)
“Bryce Harper regressed last season because he stopped wearing stuff on his head while working out.”
It is exactly as it sounds. YamborghiniHi’s theory, posted in r/Baseball, suggests Harper donning headwear during his workouts is the key to his on-field success. Before you laugh or scoff (assuming you haven’t already, even though you likely have), check out his myriad evidence.
Each of those Instagram posts were between the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He followed up those posts with a 2015 season for the ages.
Then, as YamborghiniHi notes, everything changed. Harper stopped rocking hats (and other headgear) during his workouts — perhaps due to an infatuation with is hair, YamborghiniHi muses — and suddenly his production cratered.
But cheer up, Nationals fans. As YamborghiniHi points out, the star right fielder has brought back the headgear for his workouts this offseason.
So, now you know why Bryce Harper exploded in 2015 and struggled in 2016.