Phillies' Harper proves yet again that 'prime time Bryce' is really a thing

When the lights are brightest, Bryce Harper takes center stage in baseball's biggest moments.
San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

There are few players in baseball quite like Bryce Harper. He has been a star since his debut in 2012 and has continued to etch his name in history.

According to Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer, with his home run on Sunday Night Baseball, Harper now leads all active players in home runs (subscription required) on the nationally televised broadcast and the third-most since his debut, behind only Mike Napoli (11) and David Ortiz (12).

The three-run home run he walloped to right center field was also off none other than 2023 NL Cy Young runner-up Logan Webb. Webb was a true test for the Phillies, with previous opposing pitchers getting bulldozed by this relentless Philly offense. There was some hope to quiet The Bank Sunday night until Harper got a hold of an 86 mph changeup.

If there is indeed a "clutch gene," Harper is riddled with it, and it takes over completely once October comes around. The 31-year-old has found himself in can't-miss moments and has made himself quite comfortable in his newfound stardom.

Since the Phillies snapped their long-awaited playoff drought in 2022, the postseasons have shown that Harper sets the tone for Philadelphia. In 30 playoff games since 2022, he has a .324 batting average with seven doubles, 11 home runs and 21 RBI. These numbers support a blistering .705 slugging percentage and a 1.150 OPS.

Just two seasons into October baseball in pinstripes, Harper has delivered some highlight reel moments. He has gifted us moments like the three-run homer to tie the Giants in Aug. last year, "Bedlam at the Bank," the homer off of McCullers in Game 3 of the 2022 World Series and the two-homer Orlando Arcia staredown Game 3 in the 2023 NLDS against Atlanta after the infamous "Atta boy Harper" comment.

Per FanGraphs, Harper's 1.90 WPA (win probability added) is the second-best over the past two postseasons. In regular season play since 2022, he's third in "clutch" (a statistic calculating performance in high-leverage situations versus neutral) with 2.71.

The stats, the moments — there is nothing quite like watching Bryce Harper at work. His Phillies currently have a hold on the NL East with an MLB-best 25-11 record. This season has started out white hot for Harper and the Phillies, and we can't wait to see where more Harper moments take us in 2024.