The 2015 National League MVP field was comprised of three players from teams that missed the playoffs, but their performances in the face of disappointing campaigns were impossible to ignore. 

After the Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper, Cincinnati Reds’ Joey Votto and Arizona Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt emerged as finalists, Harper was unanimously selected as the NL MVP Thursday night by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, per MLB on Twitter. Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller noted Harper is the youngest player in league history to be named MVP in unanimous fashion.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Harper became the first player in franchise history (including the team’s days as the Montreal Expos) to capture MVP honors.

A complete look at the voting results can be viewed below, courtesy of

ESPN Stats & Info added another staggering fact regarding Harper’s historic season:

Considering the BBWAA’s official ballot doesn’t provide any specific guidelines regarding voting qualifications as they relate to overall team success, it’s hard to argue with the final decision.

“There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means,” the ballot reads. “It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.”

Harper was the favorite all along, so it’s no surprise the Nationals outfielder ran away with NL MVP honors despite Washington’s late-season collapse.

To put things simply, here’s a rundown of categories in which Harper topped National League charts, per

  • Runs scored (118)
  • Home runs (42)
  • On-base percentage (.460)
  • Slugging percentage (.649)
  • OPS (1.109)
  • OPS+ (195)
  • Wins above replacement (9.9)
  • Runs created (161) 
  • Offensive win percentage (.855)

“He’s got an unbelievable eye,” Nationals pitcher Drew Storen said, per’s Eddie Matz. “As a pitcher, you try to expand the strike zone and miss the barrel. But he’s letting guys come to him and make mistakes, and he’s capitalizing on them.”

Harper was also a wins above replacement machine.

According to, Harper and Mike Trout tied for No. 1 overall in MLB with 8.9 offensive wins above replacement, while the NL MVP pulled even with Los Angeles Dodgers ace Zack Greinke at No. 1 with a cumulative WAR total of 9.9.

Harper also batted a career-best .330, which was light-years better than his previous high of .274.

“In ranking second in the NL in batting average (.330; the Marlins‘ Dee Gordon was first at .333), and first in both on-base percentage (.460) and slugging percentage (.649), Harper narrowly missed winning the ‘slash’ Triple Crown,” Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller wrote. “Only three players as young as Harper have ever won the ‘slash’ Triple Crown: Cobb (1909), Williams (1941) and Stan Musial (1943).”

Washington’s stretch-run struggles could have conceivably put a dent in Harper’s chances, but his overwhelming edge in so many statistical departments at such a young age made the Nationals outfielder a logical choice.

Still just 23 years old, Harper is the kind of disruptive force capable of etching his name into MLB record books year after year while his peers are left to marvel at the historic achievements.

However, Harper would undoubtedly love nothing more than to experience success beyond the MVP hardware. The Nationals still haven’t reached the National League Championship Series since Harper arrived in the nation’s capital, and a disappointing 2015 season forced some wholesale changes to the team’s coaching staff.

With Dusty Baker now at the controls in the clubhouse, Harper will attempt to mesh with his new manager and lead the Nationals to the prosperity they’ve been destined for since his ascent to superstardom.

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