As The Inquisitr reported, The Athletic‘s annual Major League Baseball (MLB) players poll voted Bryce Harper the “most overrated” player in the league. Now, USA Today reports that Harper has responded to the new title.
“I don’t really know what to say. I mean, I have no answer. I have no idea.”
“I knew ESPN did (a similar poll) a couple years back, and I won MVP the next year,” the Philadelphia Phillies outfielder added. “So I don’t know. Maybe we’ll do that again this year. We’ll see.”
Harper, 26, is no stranger to scrutiny — he was voted “most overrated” in another poll conducted by ESPN in 2014 and 2015 at the time he won the National League MVP award. He has made it to six All-Star Games in his seven big-league seasons, which average 32 home runs and 91 RBI each year.
Harper also signed a 13-year, $330-million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on February 28, which is likely the reason for some of the criticism. In addition, Larry Brown Sports reveals that the polls found that teams were concerned about Harper’s consistency and defense, which suggests he might be overrated even outside of the players.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) March 26, 2019
The poll asked MLB players to vote on 20 different items, including the “most overrated” player. According to The Athletic, about one-third of the league’s players participated, which is a pretty good representation.
Harper received a whopping 62 percent of the vote for “most overrated,” second to Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman at 4.1 percent. Other players that received multiple votes for “most overrated” are Jason Heyward, Giancarlo Stanton,, Kevin Kiermaier, Noah Syndergaard, Manny Machado, and Gary Sanchez.
Regardless of the title, Harper seems focused on preparing for Opening Day. He recently spoke to USA Today about the use of transition contact lenses in the time leading up to the start of the season and the edge they give him.
“It’s a little trippy, where my eyes go from blue to brown when I go outside. But for me, it’s a one-of-a-kind product this offseason, being able to be one of the first (people) to use it – especially as a baseball player where my vision is huge for me.”
Although Harper used contacts previously, he used his regular glasses for a few at-bats last season after having difficulty putting on his contacts. He claims new lenses have helped him during his spring training and he’s already noticing the difference during this training.