Bryce Harper is having a breakout season and is an early candidate for National League MVP. But that is only a part of his true value to the Washington Nationals.
Harper is on pace to hit .326 with 54 home runs and a 1.170 OPS, and he has already been worth 4.0 “wins” more than a typical replacement player (based on the Wins Above Replacement stat, via Fangraphs.com). To put that in perspective, Mike Trout, with 8.0 WAR, was the only player in MLB last season valued at more than 6.8 “wins.”
Now consider that Harper is 22 years old and is making just $US2.5 million in salary this season, a mere pittance in an era when the top players regularly make $US20+ million per year.
We can determine Harper’s True Value by comparing how much he has been worth to the Nationals on the field in terms of WAR versus his actual salary. Every “win” in WAR is worth approximately $US8 million. This is how much it would cost a team to acquire one “win” worth of talent in free agency.
Harper leads the way with a WAR Value ($US31.6 million) that exceeds his salary ($US2.5 million) by $US29.1 million, more than anybody else in baseball.
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