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Bryce Harper
Birthdate: 10/16/1992 (24 y, 5 m, 10 d)     Bats/Throws: L/R     Height/Weight: 6-2/230     Position: OF
Drafted: 2010 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 1, Overall: 1, Team: Washington Nationals
Contract: $13.6M / 1 Years (2017)
RotoWire News: Harper went 1-for-3 with his sixth home run of the spring, a solo shot, in Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Mets. (3/17/2017)
Profiles:  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  (Click Year to Expand / Close)
Profile: From a certain point of view, Harper's 2016 wasn't quite as bad as you may think. He was one of only nine players to turn in a 20-20 season, and his league-leading 17.3 BB% was a boon to those in OBP leagues. Still, he clearly did not perform as the #2 fantasy player many drafted him as. Rumors swirled that Harper was playing through injury or, in the words of Scott Boras, other "limitations". Regardless of their credibility, Harper had a clear drop in power from his breakout season in 2015; his HR/FB rate was cut nearly in half, from 27.3% to 14.3% (a career low), and his rate of soft-hit balls jumped from 11.9% to 19.8% (a career high). Harper also saw a 5% drop in his line-drive rate, which may have contributed to his .264 BABIP and, in turn, his .243 average. The big question, of course, is: will Harper's 2017 be more like 2015 or 2016? There's certainly cause for hope: Harper's 2016 turn as an oft-walking speedster is evidence that he'll find ways to contribute even when his power isn't on, and it can't be forgotten that he's *still* only 24 years old -- younger than Kris Bryant or Mookie Betts. Still, "2015 with a few more steals" is Harper's reasonable upside for 2017, so drafting Harper outright expecting that level of performance will likely leave you disappointed. There will probably be someone at your draft who takes Harper too high -- i.e. in the top 5 -- but if you can pick him up near the end of the first round, you may still end up with one of the two best players in fantasy come season's end. (Brice Russ)

The Quick Opinion: After a breakout year in 2015, Harper took a major step back in power and average last season, though his resurgence in steals helped ease the pain a bit. Harper is one of the very few players in fantasy baseball with 40/20/.320 upside, but you definitely don't want to pay for that level of production at the draft -- target him near the end of the first if you can.

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