He's arrived: Nationals' Bryce Harper wins NL MVP unanimously

Just like that, the haters disappeared. After a phenomenal performance, Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper is taking home the 2015 National League MVP award.

It wasn't much of a contest. Harper won the award unanimously, receiving all 30 first-place votes. The runner-up, Paul Goldschmidt finished nearly 200 points behind Harper in the voting. Joey Votto finished in third.



If you look at the stats, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Harper was the overwhelming favorite. The 23-year-old led the NL with 42 home runs, a .460 on-base percentage, a .649 slugging percentage, 118 runs scored and a 9.5 fWAR. He didn't lead the NL in batting average, but still managed to hit .330. He also led the league in getting choked by a teammate. Overall, it was one hell of a season.

[Related: Josh Donaldson took home the MVP award over in the AL]

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

While Harper has been historically great over his career, especially when you consider the numbers he's putting up at his age, this was his real breakout. Harper's numbers in 2015 reflected what everyone wanted him to be when he arrived in the majors at age-19. That's an insane expectation, of course, but that's what the fans wanted from a player who was on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a 16-year-old.

As a result of that early exposure, Harper has received more criticism than arguably any other player since he reached the majors. His early performances made him a bust in the minds of some fans. He didn't hustle enough sometimes, and hustled to the point of recklessness other times. He was viewed as arrogant, and someone who didn't respect the game.

Those excuses don't really hold up anymore. In 2015, Harper established himself as the best player in the game. He lived up to the hype, and produced at the highest level every single day, even as his team, and clubhouse, was going down in flames. Even if you still think he's cocky and arrogant, he certainly proved he had a right to be. No one dominated pitchers like Harper this season.

His performance should quiet the haters, but we all know that's not going to happen. This is Bryce Harper we're talking about here. Perhaps no figure is more polarizing among fans and opposing players. Remember, Harper was voted as the most overrated player by his peers coming into the season.

[Related: MVP 2015: Sizing up the finalists for MLB's top award]

That poll is so outdated it seems like it was conducted years ago now. Harper proved he was everything that was advertised in 2015, and you get the sense this won't be the last time he's highly involved for the MVP award. Harper has always had generational type talent, and proved he's ready to become that player this year. If people still want to hate on him, they can do so at their own risk.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik