MLB’s 25 Most Improved Players Prospects for 2016 Momentum

#1. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

2015 WAR: 9.9
2014 WAR: 1.0
WAR Improvement: 8.9

Bryce Harper’s WAR improved by 8.9 during a season in which only two other players posted WARs of 8.9 or better — Zack Greinke (9.3) and Mike Trout (9.4). That’s basically inhuman, especially when we’re talking about a 23-year-old slugger.

Every once in awhile, you just have to forget about most of the numbers. This is one of those times. Xander Bogaerts is talented enough that we can assume his natural ability may well trump some of the expected regression, and Harper is both 15 days younger and flat-out better than Boston’s shortstop.

Since the Washington Nationals superstar was born in 1992, only four players have managed to post a WAR of at least 9.9: Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa and Trout. That’s the celestial group Harper already finds himself in, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t stick around for a while.

When a player with this much natural ability and desire for greatness makes the proverbial leap, he’s going to dominate the league for quite some time.

Maybe he won’t manage to match or exceed his 2015 WAR in 2016, especially if that pesky little injury imp strikes. But if he misses, it won’t be by much.