For the second time in his major league career, Bryce Harper has been named the National League’s Most Valuable Player.
Harper collected 17 of 30 first-place votes to edge Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals and Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres in the balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
The Philadelphia Phillies slugger almost single-handedly kept his team in playoff contention by hitting .309 with 35 homers, a .429 on-base percentage and a major league-leading .615 slugging percentage. He also led the majors with a 1.044 OPS.
Harper, 29, also won a Silver Slugger award this season, which he also did in his previous MVP-winning season in 2015 as a member of the Nationals.
This season, Harper became only the fourth outfielder in baseball history to have at least 100 runs, 100 walks, 40 doubles and 35 homers in a season, joining Babe Ruth, Stan Musial and Barry Bonds.
Harper becomes the fifth player in baseball history to win MVP awards with more than one team — joining Frank Robinson, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx.
Players to win MVP Award with multiple franchises (since BBWAA began voting in 1931):
Bryce Harper: Nationals, Phillies
Frank Robinson: Reds, Orioles
Barry Bonds: Pirates, Giants
Alex Rodriguez: Rangers, Yankees
Jimmie Foxx: Athletics, Red Sox
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) November 18, 2021
As for the other finalists, Soto led the majors with a .465 on-base percentage — including a .525 mark in the season’s second half – in addition to tallying 29 homers and 95 RBI.
And Tatis led the league with 42 home runs, despite playing in only 130 games because of injuries.
Team success was not a factor in this year’s balloting. All three of the finalists played on teams that missed the playoffs.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Phillies’ Bryce Harper wins 2021 National League MVP award
Source: Yahoo Sports