Bryce Harper haters will be in shambles over superstar's elite company in MLB Network's Top 100

It speaks volumes about Bryce Harper that he's the one player in the same company as Mike Trout when it comes to how good he's been over the years.
Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Six
Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Six / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

With all the statistics and information available within Major League Baseball, there are probably more than 1 million different ways and justifications to explain why certain players are among the best at what they do. Along these lines, Bryce Harper is one of the very best of them and has been for over a decade, at least according to MLB Network.

MLB Network recently finished releasing their annual Top 100 players for 2024, and Harper is once again up there, ranked at number 11. This is notable for the fact it now makes it 12 straight years of Harper being placed in the Top 100.

Head and shoulders above the rest

However, what really stands out is that the Phillies slugger is one of only two players to rank in the Top 100 for 12 consecutive years, along with the Angels' Mike Trout. This is indeed heady company and speaks to just how consistent and impressive Harper has been over the years, no matter how much people will argue about the subjective nature of such a list by MLB Network.

Critics may want to point to neither Harper or Trout having ever won a World Series, but all this really does is reinforce just how much of a team game baseball is. It doesn't matter how good you are if the roster isn't strong enough overall — with Trout's former teammate Shohei Ohtani arguably the prime example to back up this rationale.

What we do know is that both Harper and Trout have been tremendous on an individual level for a considerable period of time. Phillies and Angels fans alike should consider themselves extremely fortunate to get the opportunity to watch such esteemed talent on a nightly basis.

Head-to-head over the last decade-plus, it's tough to justify putting Harper above Trout, who has a resume that includes three AL MVPs, nine Silver Slugger Awards, 11 All-Star selections and two Hank Aaron Awards. Regardless, the former has done pretty well, too, with two NL MVPs, three Silver Slugger Awards, seven All-Star selections and two Hank Aaron Awards of his own.

Harper is a standout when it really counts

However, where Harper does have the edge — and a considerable one at that — is in his postseason experience, with six years appearing in the playoffs compared to just one by his rival in Los Angeles. Further, he has proven himself more than capable of rising to the occasion, highlighted by his NLCS MVP award in 2022, which took him to his first-ever World Series, and an overall noteworthy performance with a .996 OPS in 49 games.

Of course, for all Harper's heroics, his considerable postseason experience relates to the aforementioned point about the strength of the overall roster determining how much success a player has. And this will prove beneficial to him once more in 2024.

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After two seasons of making it to at least the NLCS, the Phillies are again one of the best teams in the NL and among the favorites to win it all. In fact, as per our very own Michael Sadowsky, Harper has already said that Philadelphia deserves a World Series.

Every player with any type of ambition strives to be the best at what they do. However, if Harper can find a way to help the Phillies win the World Series in his 13th season in the majors, he'll happily take this ahead of being declared a better individual player than Trout.