With spring training workouts due to commence shortly, MLB.com released their AL and NL MVP favorites for 2024. Fans of the Philadelphia Phillies, particularly, will be dismayed that the website did not list Bryce Harper among their five favorites in the National League for the MVP Award.
Harper delivered for the Phillies again last year with a line of .293/.401/.499 with an OPS of .900 in 457 at-bats throughout 126 regular season contests. The outfielder debuted at a new position last year, first base, following missing the start of the season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He sustained a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm at the beginning of 2022, playing his natural right field position.
Considering this will presumably be Harper's first season he will not be plagued by the UCL injury in two years, his stats will not be limited should he remain relatively healthy. Mookie Betts, Ronald Acuña Jr., and Shohei Ohtani should all be in consideration for the award, no question.
MLB.com must be counting on Fernando Tatis Jr. to regain his 2021 form when he finished with a .282/.364/.611 line. He also had 42 home runs, 97 RBI, and 31 doubles in 478 at-bats. An injury and a PED suspension prevented him from playing at all in 2022. He had a stat line of .257/.322/.449 with 33 doubles and 25 homers last year in 575 plate appearances. We'll see if he can increase his slash line and home run totals this season.
After debuting in the majors with the Arizona Diamondbacks at the end of 2022, Corbin Carroll excelled in his first full season with the team last year. The 23-year-old had a .868 OPS along with a .285/.362/.506 line, 54 stolen bases, 116 runs, 30 doubles, 25 home runs, and 76 RBI in 155 games.
He helped lead the Diamondbacks to their first World Series since 2001 last year. Carroll finished with 10 RBI, 11 runs, and five stolen bases in 17 playoff contests. The 2023 Rookie of the Year had a .273/.364/.409 line with a .773 OPS. He could be in the running for the 2024 NL MVP Award if he posts even better numbers this season.
MLB.com listed the younger Tatis Jr. (25) and Carroll (23) ahead of Harper (31). The Phillies star has won the award two times previously in his career — in 2015 with the Washington Nationals and with Philly in 2021. We'll see if he uses this to prove his doubters wrong again, as he's someone not to be disregarded. The odds are good that he will use this as motivation to possibly be in the running to win his third MVP Award.