With another run scored over the next five games, Nationals’ slugger Bryce Harper will become the seventh player since 2014 to get to at least 100 runs, RBIs, and walks in a season.
When he gets there, Washington’s 2010 No. 1 overall pick will join the Cincinnati Reds’ Joey Votto (2017), New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge (2017), LA Angels’ Mike Trout (2016), Arizona D-backs’ Paul Goldschmidt (2015), Jose Bautista, currently with Philadelphia’s Phillies, (2015, 2014), and the Cleveland Indians’ infielder Jose Ramirez, who has 104 runs, 103 RBIs, and 103 walks this season.
Houston Astros’ infielder Alex Bregman (103 runs, 100 RBIs, 93 walks) is close to joining that list as well, though he’ll have to walk a lot over the next week to get there.
Harper picked up his 100th RBI in Monday night’s win over the Miami Marlins, with a sac fly in the fourth that put the Nationals up 3-1 in what ended up a 7-3 win.
Harper went 1 for 4 with a run scored and the RBI on the night, picking up his 99th run of the season as well, to go along with his major league-leading 126 walks.
Harper’s manager, Davey Martinez talked glowingly after tonight’s game about his outfielder reaching 100 RBIs, topping his previous single-season high of 99.
“First time in his career, so I told him it’s a good milestone, hopefully next year he can get it earlier in September and we’re really playing for something, you know,” Martinez said.
“He was happy, team was happy for him. You saw [Adam] Eaton run over to him and give him a big hug, so happy for him.”
Martinez was asked if 100 RBIs are still a big deal.
“It’s a big number. It’s a really unbelievable individual accomplishment, it really is,” the first-year skipper said.
RBIs are, of course, held in less esteem than they once were, since, as Neil Weinberg wrote at Fangraphs.com back in 2014, RBIs “are conditional on your teammates (other than RBI(s) via HR) by definition.” Martinez acknowledged as much, telling reporters he recognized that, “... lot of things have to happen,” to give you the opportunities to drive in runs, but he said it was still an impressive achievement for Harper, who got up to 99 RBIs in 2015, but had never reached 100, considering how the 25-year-old struggled at the plate for a long stretch earlier this season.
“He started off slow, and to do that the way he started off it’s only a testament to how good he really is.”
Harper acknowledged that the achievement was more of a result of his teammates getting on in front of him.
“I think for me it just goes to show how good the guys in front of me are, getting on base all the time and really grinding to produce runs and things like that,” he said.
“So it’s just a testament to how good this team is and how good our table-setters are at the top.”
Say what you will about RBIs, but Harper said he’ll take the milestone he reached and the one he’s approaching.
“I think for for me it’s just going out there and trying to score runs and do the things that I can. If I can get to 100 runs, 100 walks, and 100 RBIs it’s pretty cool so I’ll take that any day of the week.”