The Washington Nationals are hosting the All-Star Game this year, and they’re lucky enough to have three of their own players represent them (Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper, Sean Doolittle). Harper gets the start in the outfield for the National League squad, but many are questioning if he should even be in the game.
It’s been a weird year for Harper, but here he is making his sixth All-Star Game appearance. Harper’s only batting .218, which is way below standard for what a player of his caliber should be hitting. Match his poor average with 91 strikeouts, and you’re looking at a pretty shitty season. Harper does have 21 homeruns to go with 50 RBIs. At that pace, it means he’s projected to finish the season with 42 homeruns and 100 RBIs, and it’d be the first 100 RBI season in his career.
Ultimately, I think you have to put Harper on the all-star team. Should he be a starter? Probably not. But you can’t leave one of the best players in the sport out of the All-Star Game, especially when his home team is the host. If Harper wasn’t in the game, then he’d ineligible for the Home Run Derby. Judge and Stanton have already announced that they’re not going to be participating this year, so you have to have a guaranteed star in the derby.
You have to believe this will be Harper’s final moment in the spotlight in Washington. He’s a free agent this season, and as of right now the Nationals won’t be participating in any postseason play. This will be a great way for Harper and the city of DC to say goodbye to each other.