Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is known for his blazing hot starts. When the regular season starts, no one performs like Harper.
That’s not hyperbole. That’s a fact. Prior to Sunday’s game against the New York Mets, the Elias Sports Bureau sent out the following tweet.
Bryce Harper: .321 BA, 38 HR, 101 RBIs in 126 games in April. The highest OPS in April (minimum: 500 plate app):
— Elias Sports Bureau (@EliasSports) April 8, 2018
After his hot start this season, Harper has passed both Ted Williams and Babe Ruth as the player with the best April OPS in Major League Baseball history. Harper clocked in at 1.097 coming into the night. Ruth had a 1.089 OPS in April over his career.
Harper added to that figure Sunday. He smashed his league-leading sixth home run, singled twice and walked twice. Harper finished the night 3-for-4, and slightly raised his April OPS to 1.098 in the process. For comparison, Barry Bonds’ career OPS is 1.051. Harper has been that good in April.
Ultimately, his performance Sunday was all for naught. Despite Harper’s efforts, the Mets defeated the Nationals 6-5 in extra innings.
Given that Harper is one of the more divisive players in baseball, there are some who will look at this accomplishment and point out that it’s October that matters, not April. Some of that criticism is fair. Harper has finished far too many of his seasons injured, and his teams have failed to get past the National League Divisional Series.
Health is obviously the key here. A healthy Harper can mash, as he’s shown at the start of each season. If he can avoid injuries, there’s no reason to think he can’t do the same in October.
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports: