Bryce Harper’s Base Running; By The Numbers

Does Bryce Harper need to hustle more?

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Now that a bit of the dust has settled and people have had time to analyze the Papelbon / Harper situation with their emotions aside, many people are jumping to Papelbon’s side saying Harper needs to hustle more.

Criticizing Bryce Harper’s base running? Well why don’t we go by the numbers to prove it. Let’s see who’s right. Does Bryce need to run bases better?

One of the best baseball writers in the game Ken Rosenthal published an article on foxsports.com today showing some interesting facts on the debate we’re having here.

Harper leads Nationals in extra base taken rate at 57.1 percent, and is tied for 16th in the Majors according to baseball-reference.com and researched by MLB Network’s Marc Adelberg.” – foxsports.com

So let’s just get this straight; we’re criticizing a guy who leads his team in extra bases taken (hustle points) for not hustling enough?

Anyone who preaches about hustle does so rooted in the belief that always gaining an extra base is something everyone can do to help the team. I’m interested in that person’s response to the statistic that Bryce Harper who leads the league in WAR, now apparently also leads his team in hustling and taking the extra base.

P.S. Simply stating “play the game the right way” is a cheap cop out in a debate that someone who doesn’t have any other answers uses to support their opinion.