Firmly in the National League MVP conversation and a likely Silver Slugger winner in the outfield, Bryce Harper is also a finalist for the Hank Aaron Award, presented each year to the top offensive player in each league.
The NL's seven finalists are Harper, Nick Castellanos, Brandon Crawford, Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr.
Freeman and Jose Abreu, the 2020 MVPs, were also last year's Hank Aaron Award-winners. The award has existed since 1999 and one Phillie, Ryan Howard in his 2006 MVP season, has won it.
Harper won the award in 2015, his MVP year.
Voting is conducted by a combination of fans and a panel of eight Hall of Famers. That panel includes Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Chipper Jones, Pedro Martinez, Eddie Murray, John Smoltz and Robin Yount.
Harper's offensive numbers are among the best in the game so he should garner serious consideration. This is strictly an offensive award so the defensive prowess of Crawford, Freeman or Goldschmidt shouldn't factor in.
Based on the totality of production in 2021, it should be between Harper, Tatis and Soto.
Harper led the majors in doubles (42), slugging percentage (.615) and OPS (1.044).
Tatis led the National League with 42 home runs.
Soto led the majors in walks (145) and on-base percentage (.465). He hit .343/.504/.603 over his last 95 games.
The award will be presented in November. These are the dates for awards, subject to change based on the date the World Series ends.
Nov. 1: The three finalists in each league for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year are named
Nov. 2: Gold Glove winners announced
Nov. 3: Defensive Players of the Year announced (using sabermetrics, not a vote)
Nov. 4: Silver Slugger winners
Nov. 8: Rookies of the Year
Nov. 9: Managers of the Year
Nov. 10: Cy Youngs
Nov. 11: MVPs
Nov. 15: Hall of Fame ballot for 2021 released, which will include Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins for the first time