Bryce Harper

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

6 reasons why Bryce Harper and Philly match perfectly

Andrew Porter
November 08, 2018 - 10:38 am
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Joe Giglio laid out the case for why it's beginning to look like Bryce Harper will become a Phillie. Hours later, USA Today's Bob Nightengale wrote, "you can bank on" the Phillies signing Harper. 

Related: Predicting Bryce Harper's contract with Phillies

The stars are starting to align for Harper to the Phillies, a move that would make perfect sense for both parties. Here's why:

1. He's great

In seven season of professional baseball, Harper has reached six all-star games. He's a career .279/.388/.512 hitting who averages 32 homers and 91 RBIs per season. Last year, Harper was scrutinized a bit for his .249 average, but he still slugged .496 hitting 34 home runs, 34 doubles and walking a career-high 130 times. His offensive WAR was 4.3 and 4.2, respectively, each of the last two seasons. 

The case for adding the 2015 NL MVP and 2012 NL Rookie of the Year to your lineup is not a hard one to make. 

2. He's young

Harper is just 26-years-old and just turned 26 a few weeks ago. For comparison sake, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard did not play their first full MLB season until they were 26.  Rhys Hoskins will turn 26 in March. Harper likely has another eight to 10 seasons of elite baseball in him, at least. 

3. Style, swag, and marketability 

Harper is the face of the new age of baseball, where the league must look to market their star players better. No star in baseball is more marketable than Harper, an attractive slugger with swag and style, who isn't afraid to say and do what he wants. He'll pose for a GQ cover shoot and then turnaround and speak honestly about the game he plays. 

“Baseball’s tired,” Harper said in 2016, per Bleacher Report. “It’s a tired sport, because you can’t express yourself. You can’t do what other people in other sports do. I’m not saying baseball is, you know, boring or anything like that, but it’s the excitement of the young guys who are coming into the game now who have flair.”

Harper will immediately sell tickets and if the Phillies do develop into the National League contender they think they will become, sell outs galore. 

4. Philadelphia

The city is ready for a baseball star. It's been awhile and John Middleton told Angelo Cataldi that he plans to get his "bleeping trophy back."

Manny Machado, the other big name slugger in the free-agency market, is—while super talented—divisive. He admitted he doesn't hustle, something that will become a polarizing issue in a blue collar city like Philly—or really any city that cares about sports.  

Harper is the perfect guy. His arrogance/cockiness is sort of like Joel Embiid's, and it fits the city. And with Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Carson Wentz, Harper is the perfect fourth star for Philly. Hoskins is a talented hitter, but not an elite superstar like Harper. Aaron Nola is an Ace, but off of the field, Nola gives you nothing. A Nola interview is brutal, take my word for it. 

The Eagles are the Super Bowl champs with a MVP caliber 25-year-old QB and the Sixers have two young stars, plus one of the most electrifying atmospheres in the NBA. Philadelphia, as a sports town, is thriving. 

Not to mention, Citizens Bank Park is 369 feet to right center and 330 feet to the right field foul line. Nationals Parks is 370 to right center and 335 to the right field foul line. Left field is shorter in Philly than D.C. as well, if Harper wants to go oppo-boppo. Hey, it's not much, but a few feet can mean 35 homers instead of 32. 

At CBP in his career, Harper is hitting .268/.365/.564 with 14 homers, five doubles, three triples, and 32 RBIs in 50 games and 208 plate appearances. 

5. Creating a legacy

For Harper, Philadelphia is a big market and a passionate sports town. It's not New York, it's not Boston, and it's not Chicago—it's a place where Harper can create a meaningful and memorable legacy. It's a place where Harper will have an impact. 

6. Ready to win

With Hoskins, Nola, a second-year progressive manager in Gabe Kapler, an analytics driven general manager in Matt Klentak, and a managing partner ready to spend in Middleton, the Philadelphia Phillies are going to become contenders again very, very soon. The shift is happening in the National League East and Bryce would expedite that shift immensely. 

A big market team with a great history and an owner willing to spend, who is literally "dying" to win, in one of the most passionate professional sports cities in America, yearning for a star to bring baseball back to its level of the last decade.

Bryce Harper to Philadelphia, it has to happen.