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Bryce Harper is within striking distance of a home run milestone


Bryce Harper is the reigning NL MVP. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Bryce Harper will enter the 2022 season just 33 home runs away from 300 in his career.

If there’s a normal 162-game season, the reigning National League MVP could very well surpass the 300-home run mark before his 30th birthday in October.

Of course, if a new collective bargaining agreement isn’t worked out between the league and the MLB Players Association in the coming days, it’s possible that there won’t be a 162-game season in 2022.

As we wrote earlier this week, that would mark the second time in Harper’s first four seasons with the Phillies that he didn’t have a full 162-game slate of games to play. The 2020 season — Harper’s age-27 campaign — was limited to just 60 games because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether it happens in 2022 or not, Harper is eventually going to hit 300 home runs. But the 2020 regular season was cut by 102 games. If the 2022 schedule is cut significantly shorter than 162 games, that would amount to Harper losing almost a full season worth of games in his prime. We may look back at that and wonder what could have been if Harper finishes his career shy of 500 home runs.

Harper — who is 14th among all active players in home runs — has homered 83 times since signing a 13-year/$330 million deal ahead of the 2019 season.

No one is probably ever going to top Mike Schmidt’s franchise lead with 548 home runs and because Harper spent his first seven seasons with the Washington Nationals, he’ll be hard-pressed to match Ryan Howard’s 382 home runs with the Phillies. Topping Del Ennis’ 259 home runs as a Phillie and moving into third place in franchise history in home runs might be the most realistic goal for Harper.

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