Phillies Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler named 2021 NL MVP and Cy Young Award finalists
After a disappointing 2021 season for the Phillies, their two best players have been rewarded as MLB award finalists. Bryce Harper is a finalist for National League MVP and Zack Wheeler has been named a finalist for National League Cy Young.
Bryce Harper had one of the greatest seasons that I have personally ever seen from a Philadelphia Phillie. He slashed .309/.429/.615 with 35 HRs, 84 RBIs, 13 stolen bases, 151 hits, and 101 runs scored in 2021 and an OPS of 1.044. Harper had a 5.9 WAR on the season, with 100 walks, and multiple flashy plays in the outfield.
Harper will be going up against Juan Soto (.313/.465/.534) of the Washington Nationals, and Fernando Tatis Jr (.282/.364/.611) of the San Diego Padres for the NL MVP Award. If Harper takes home the trophy, this will be his second time winning the award, his first since in 2015 with the Nationals. An outfielder has won the NL MVP four out of the last six years (Harper, Stanton, Yelich, Bellinger), and Harper will try to make it a 5th in 7 years.
Final Prediction: 1st: Bryce Harper, 2nd: Juan Soto, 3rd: Fernando Tatis Jr
Zack Wheeler has been nominated Cy Young Finalist for the first time in his 7 year career, his most recent ranking being 12th in 2020 with the Phillies. He finished the season 14-10 with a 2.78 ERA in 32 games started, with 213.1 innings pitched, 247 strikeouts, and a 1.01 WHIP. Wheeler also posted a SO/9 rate of 10.4, with a SO/W ratio of 5.37.
He will be going up against Corbin Burnes (11-5, 2.43 ERA) of the Milwaukee Brewers, and Dodgers pitcher Max Scherzer (15-4, 2.46 ERA), who was also a member of the Nationals to start the season. I think Bryce has a lot better chance of winning his award than Wheeler does, and in all honesty, I don’t think Wheeler will pull this one out but hey, let’s get weird.
Final Prediction: 1st: Zack Wheeler, 2nd: Max Scherzer, 3rd: Corbin Burnes
The NL Cy Young winner will be announced on November 17th, and the NL MVP winner will be announced the next night, November 18th. If Bryce Harper doesn’t win MVP, we riot. If Zack Wheeler doesn’t win Cy Young, I’ll accept it, but still, be upset.
Mandatory Credit: NBC Sports Philadelphia