2. Bryce Harper
Turner’s not the only star who needs to carry his weight. Harper has avoided criticism for much of the year because Turner’s been so bad, and also because Harper came back from Tommy John surgery in record time.
While his commitment to the team is admirable, Harper probably should have taken more time to recover. He clearly hasn’t been the same player this year, especially in the power department. The fact that it’s early August and he still has a single-digit home run total next to his name is mind-boggling.
Injuries knocking Harper down from MVP in 2021 to All-Star in 2022 to a glorified slap hitter in 2023 has been tough to watch. With Rhys Hoskins out for the year and Turner slumping, Philly needs Harper’s pop more than ever. Instead, it’s been nowhere to be found.
We know how streaky Harper can get, and we saw it last year when he caught fire in the playoffs and basically carried us to the World Series. If he can find his power stroke down the stretch (even if it means taking more time off to stay rested), that would really give our lineup a boost.
Unlike Turner, Harper doesn’t add much value with his glove or legs, so he needs to let his bat do the talking.