Phillies

Bryce Harper nominated for an award he will not win

Phillies

Bryce Harper is one of seven finalists for MLB's 2020 Hank Aaron Award, presented annually to the most outstanding offensive player in each league.

The NL nominees are Harper, Freddie Freeman, Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Paul Goldschmidt, Corey Seager and Dominic Smith.

In 58 games and 244 plate appearances this season, Harper hit .268/.420/.542 with nine doubles, two triples, 13 homers and 33 RBI. He led the majors with 49 walks, six more than his number of strikeouts.

Harper is extremely unlikely to win this award. He had a good offensive season but at least five of the other six candidates were better.

The award is voted on by a combination of Aaron, a panel of Hall of Famers and a fan vote through Sunday.

Here are resumes of the other six nominees:

Freddie Freeman (Atl)

Freeman hit .341/.462/.640, led the majors in doubles and runs scored, hit 13 homers and drove in 53 runs, 20 more than Harper.

Freeman has never finished in the Top 3 of NL MVP voting but is the frontrunner this year. His team is two wins from the World Series.

Juan Soto (Was)

Most dangerous hitter in the National League at this point?

Soto hit a ridiculous .351/.490/.695 this season, leading the majors in OBP and slugging.

In 11 fewer games than Harper, Soto matched his home run total of 13 and drove in four more runs.

He walked 13 more times than he struck out. He turns 22 later in the month. His career is off to a Pujolsian start.

Manny Machado (SD)

He had an even better year than superstar teammate Fernando Tatis Jr. Machado hit .304/.370/.580 with 16 homers and 47 RBI. He hit .381 with runners in scoring position.

 

Harper's OPS is still 64 points higher with the Phillies than Machado's with the Padres.

Paul Goldschmidt (STL)

A rebound year in his second season with the Cardinals, Goldy hit .304/.417/.466, though with only six home runs. He was a stabilizing force for a Cardinals team that spent two weeks off the field because of a COVID-19 spread but still rallied to make the playoffs.

Corey Seager (LAD)

The Dodgers' streaky shortstop was good from Game 1 this summer, dipping below .290 only once after opening day.

Seager hit .307 with a .943 OPS, homered 15 times and led the Dodgers with 41 RBI. He pretty much traded places this season with Cody Bellinger, who slumped for most of the two-month season.

Dominic Smith (NYM)

The Mets were thrilled the designated hitter came to the National League this season as it allowed them to play both Pete Alonso and Smith every day without Smith having to man left field regularly.

Smith was once a highly touted prospect. After two so-so seasons to start his major-league career, he's taken off in his mid-20s. He hit .316 and slugged .616 this season, with 21 doubles and 10 homers.

He killed the Phillies, going 18 for 43 (.419) in 10 games with nine extra-base hits and 12 RBI.

The seven AL nominees are Mike Trout, Jose Abreu, Nelson Cruz, DJ LeMahieu, Jose Ramirez, Teoscar Hernandez and Brandon Lowe.