The Athletic just released their annual players poll on Tuesday, and the results are in: Major League Baseball (MLB) players don’t think much of Bryce Harper.
The poll involves the staff talking to as many Major League Baseball (MLB) players as possible to unearth hot takes. According to PhillyVoice, The Athletic talked to approximately one-third of the league’s players this year, which means the answers are a fairly good representation of the MLB as a whole.
One of the biggest questions was who players think is overrated, and given that the poll is anonymous, it’s reasonable to believe that players are telling the truth no holds barred. And although the Phillies just committed $330 billion to Harper, it appears that his fellow players don’t have as much respect for him.
Specifically, Harper gained 62 percent of the vote for the title of “Most Overrated,” with Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman taking the runner-up spot with 4.1 percent of the vote. Although Manny Machado also received a few votes for the title, nobody came close to Harper.
As PhillyVoice reports, one player said that Harper is especially overrated now that he is raking in one-third of $1 billion through his 13-year, $330 million record contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, which he signed on February 28.
Another player spoke about why he believes that Harper is paid so generously.
“It’s marketing. It’s star power. But what has he done besides have one year?”
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) March 26, 2019
Of course, Harper also received some votes for being the MLB’s “dirtiest player” and “most intimidating hitter,” so not everybody is completely onboard with the overrated tag. He also hit 184 home runs and 521 RBIs over seven years, although — to support criticisms of him — 22.8 percent of the home runs were in his MVP season in 2015.
With just two days to go until Phillies Opening Day, Harper is focusing on batting practice, which is when he spoke to WPVI-TV about how he feels being at Citizens Bank Park as a Phillie for the first time in his career.
“Man, just walking up the steps today actually, it was definitely different being on the other side. But coming up the steps, it was cool to be able to see Citizens Bank from that side. And then just imagining the crowd and the fans. I don’t think I can even envision what it’s going to be like. I’m very excited to see what that’s going to be like, to see what the ovation is going to be for not just myself but my teammates as well.”