Bryce Harper is one of the best hitters in baseball today. The Washington Nationals outfielder took home a well-deserved AL MVP award last season after hitting 42 home runs, driving in 99 runs and batting .333.
The inevitable comparisons with other legendary hitters are popping up in sports talk circles. So why not compare Harper's impressive stats during his five-year career in the majors to MLB's all-time home run leader and seven-time MVP, Barry Bonds? Currently the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins, Bonds was asked about the comparison. According to William Ladson of MLB.com, he said:
"He is a beast. [But] he doesn't compare to me yet. He has a long way to go [to be compared] to me. He is not even close to me. But he is one hell of a ballplayer. I watch him, I admire and I look at him, and I'm in awe. You don't see that often."
Here's a quick breakdown from Baseball-Reference.com of the two players' first four years in the Majors.
Bonds won his first MVP award in his fifth year, then won two additional MVP awards over a four-year stretch. Harper won his first MVP award in his fourth year
Bonds batted .289 with 97 HRs and 248 RBIs in 566 games played over his first four years. Harper batted .256 with 84 HRs and 223 RBIs in 510 games played.
Bonds excelled in his 30s. He broke the single-season HR record at age 36. Harper is just 24 years old.
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