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The Baseball Writer's Association of America announced that Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper has been named the National League MVP for the second time in his career.

Harper's first MVP season came in 2015 while still with the Washington Nationals, but the 2021 honor is his first as a member of the Phillies. Three-time NL MVP and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt announced Harper as the winner.

Harper's 2021 campaign was beyond impressive, as the Philadelphia right fielder had one of the best seasons of his career in 2021. In 141 games, he slashed .309/.429/.615, belted 35 home runs, and led the majors in doubles (42), slugging percentage (.615), OPS (1.044), and OPS+ (179). His second-half underscored his MVP case, batting .338/.476/.713 with 20 homers, 50 RBI, 28 doubles, and 65 walks in 311 plate appearances. 

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Beyond the stats, Harper secured the award because of his impact in Philadelphia's lineup night after night. He was a force to be reckoned with in the second half, and had it not been for his outstanding numbers and leadership, the Phillies would have been eliminated from playoff contention much sooner. And while pointing this out may seem cliché, it rings true through this stat: Harper's second-half OPS was 1.188, while all other Phillies combined for just a .688 OPS. He nearly single-handedly dragged a crumbling Phillies offense to the finish line.

Harper finished first in MVP voting with 348 points, defeating his competitors, San Diego Padres outfielder Fernando Tatís, Jr. and Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto. He joined just 13 other players in MLB history who were named the MVP in their respective leagues but not All-Stars, with former Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins being the most recent in 2007.

Harper has racked up a handful of accolades for his performance in 2021 already, but securing MVP is just the cherry on top. Along with MVP, Harper was given the MLBPA NL Outstanding Player Award, a Silver Slugger AwardHank Aaron Award, and the St. Louis Sports Commission's Musial Award. Congratulations, MV3!

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