Chicago Cubs: Bryce Harper is not worth $400 million dollars

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

What have you done for me?

There exists in sports this mantra that is carried among sports fans. This innate desire for an athlete to continually deliver high-end production drives many people mad when said athlete fails to live up to unrealistic expectations.

That being said, there should not be an unrealistic expectation for Bryce Harper. It is a known fact throughout baseball that Bryce Harper is outstanding. He was a phenom upon his entering Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, Harper has been a bit of a candle in the wind throughout his professional career.

In 2012, just twenty-one games into his career at Triple-A, Harper officially made the jump to the show. That year, his rookie year, Harper played in 139 games, registering 597 plate-appearances and slashing a respectable .270/.340/.477 with 22 HR, 59 RBI, and a 121 wRC+. Harper won the N.L. Rookie of the Year.

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Equally important, the following year, he posted almost identical numbers, playing in 118 games and finishing shy of 500 at-bats.

The injury bug

As it goes, injuries tend to strike at the most unfortunate times, which is what happened to Harper in 2014. One-hundred games into the season, Harper tore his UCL in his thumb, requiring surgery. However, when his injury occurred, he was slashing .273/.344/.423 with 13 HR and 32 RBI.

A mere year later, it was as if Bryce Harper was an entirely new player.

In 2015, Harper posted a career year. He slashed .330/.460/.649 with 42 HR, 99 RBI, and posted a 9.5 WAR, more than double from his previous best. Unhappily, he fell back down to earth in 2016, posting statistically what has been his worst season slashing .243/.373/.441 with 24 HR and 86 RBI. Strangely enough, it was still a productive year.

Harper followed it up with an excellent bounce-back year this past year. He finished the year at .319/.413/.595 with 29 HR and 87 RBI, worth 4.8 WAR.