Ever since he was selected as the 2010 MLB Draft's first overall pick, it's been clear that Bryce Harper was destined to be a generational talent. He debuted at just 19-years of age all the way back in 2012 and has established himself as one of the best hitters any of us have ever seen.
A seven-year stint with the Washington Nationals, the team that drafted him, ended in six All-Star Game selections, an MVP Award, almost 200 home runs and nearly 29 bWAR; all numbers that pop off the page in a big way. Even before he signed his massive 13-year contract with the Phillies prior to the 2019 campaign, it was obvious that we were dealing with a special type of player that doesn't come around every day.
Now in his fifth season on the Phillies, Harper already added a second NL MVP Award to his portfolio in 2021 and is very clearly the leader of this club; one that is already filled with other veteran leaders like Kyle Schwarber, JT Realmuto, Nick Castellanos and Trea Turner. The 30-year-old (how in the world is he still only 30?!) endured his second straight injury-riddled season, but remains a dynamic talent that is must-see TV in every at-bat.
Adding a World Series ring to Bryce Harper's Phillies legacy is the last piece to the puzzle.
Last year, Harper got into just 99 games for the Phillies thanks to multiple injuries that kept him out of game action for a lot longer than anyone would've liked to have seen out of him. However, he made another All-Star Game and was a key part of the 2022 postseason, even winning NLCS MVP after hitting .400 (8-for-20) with two home runs and five RBI, all while striking out just one time along the way. Unfortunately, the team fell just short in the World Series, losing four games to two against the Houston Astros.
This year, the superstar has 123 games under his belt with 20 home runs, 71 RBI and an OPS+ of 142. Defensively, he has been limited to first base, but he has taken the position switch perfectly and could conceivably be the club's top option there moving forward. With the Phillies clinching their second (consecutive) postseason berth in the Harper Era, there's some major unfinished business at hand.
The vast majority of the 2023 campaign for the Phillies has been overshadowed by the otherworldly performance of the division rival Atlanta Braves, who currently have a whopping 102 wins thanks to an insane +232 run differential. However, this should not take anything away from the Phillies, who have been one of the National League's best teams from top to bottom. Another chance at playoff baseball should be all they need to make a deep run with someone like Harper in the middle of their lineup.
For Harper on an individual level, that elusive World Series ring is all that's missing from his already-Hall of Fame-worthy career. He's got the MVP trophies, the All-Star Games, the Silver Sluggers and the stats to send him sailing into Cooperstow; but the championship ring will be the cherry on top. It truly is all that's missing from his resumé and what better time to snag that honor than in the coming weeks.