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Stock Watch: Harper’s magical season nearing its end

Sep 23, 2015, 12:25 PM EDT

Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) smiles in the dugout after hitting a two-run homer during a baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Washington. The Nationals won 5-2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Each week this season, we’ll take the temperature of the Nationals roster to see whose stock is rising or falling.  

Record: 4-2

Team slash: .269/.372/.437

Team ERA: 3.11

Runs per game: 6.6



Bryce Harper, RF: .450 AVG/ 2 HR/ 1.356 OPS

The discussion about who should be NL MVP is just about over; the only thing left now is to attempt to put Harper’s season into its proper historical context. His slash line of .342/.471/.672 — to go along with 41 home runs and 95 RBI — is so impressive that the only other players that have accomplished all those feats in one season are guys named Bonds, Ruth and Gehrig, among other Hall of Famers. Without question, the hallmark of the 22-year-old’s breakout campaign has been his consistently patient approach at the plate, something that was typified Tuesday night when he set the Nationals’ single-season record for walks with 118. Throughout all of 2015, he rarely expanded his strike zone, instead forcing opposing pitchers to hit their spot. Not only that, but he’s shown that he’s more than content poking a single into the opposite field instead of trying to hit one over the fence. It’s that type of maturity that’ll earn him hardware at the end of this season and will drive pitchers crazy as his career goes on.

Stephen Strasburg, SP: 1-0/ 7.0 IP/ 10 K 

It took a while (as in, an entire half of a season), but we can say that Strasburg has finally found himself once again. Since the All-Star break, he’s been the most consistent pitcher in the rotation, owning a 5-2 record and a 2.45 ERA. His command has been impeccable during this stretch; he’s walked just six batters while recording 72 strikeouts. That’s about as dominant as it gets. For as unlikely as it seemed back in May, this season might end with Strasburg having put together the best all-around season of anyone on the starting staff.

Blake Treinen, RP: 3 GP/ 2.2 IP/ 0 ER 

Since he took a loss against the Mets on September 7, Treinen has found a way to rebound quite nicely. He hasn’t allowed a hit in his last six appearances and looks much more like the guy the Nats envisioned he would be when they put him in more high leverage spots earlier in the season. However, he still has to show that he can consistently handle late-inning situations next season if he wants to become a candidate for the setup role in 2016.



Tanner Roark, SP: 0-1/ 5.0 IP/ 6 ER 

It just hasn’t been Roark’s year. A season removed from being one of the most invaluable members of the pitching staff, he hasn’t been able to replicate 2014’s success in any of the roles he’s filled. It’s an especially unfortunate development because with Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister about to become free agents this winter, there’s a chance that Roark could fill an opening in next year’s rotation.



  1. Section 222 - Sep 23, 2015 at 1:54 PM

    “The only other players that have accomplished all those feats in one season are guys named Bonds, Ruth and Gehrig, among other Hall of Famers.”

    I don’t think this is what you meant to say, unless there are other HoFers who have done what Bryce has done…

    • ArVAFan - Sep 23, 2015 at 2:03 PM

      Is there some other HoF guy with the last name Bonds?

    • Doc - Sep 23, 2015 at 3:05 PM

      Shiferaw must have his own Fantasy Hall of Fame!

      Some day, Harps can go to to the HOF with Ruth & Gehrig, Don’t think that Bonds will be there–” among others”. LOL

  2. Whack-A-Mule - Sep 23, 2015 at 2:07 PM

    Mr. Harper has put together the finest single season of any player in
    the entire history of Washington baseball.
    (His closest competitor was #39, Joe Hardy, but he only played for
    1/2 a season in 1956 🙂

  3. alexva6 - Sep 23, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    watching Harper has helped sooth the pain associated with the rest of the team’s inconsistency.

    I guess he knew what he was capable of when he made those preseason comments. to his credit he has backed them up and then some.

    • trfwans - Sep 23, 2015 at 5:32 PM

      He asked “Where’s my ring?” Ironically, it looks like he’s going to end up with everything BUT his ring.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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