Relax Philadelphia Phillies fans, Bryce Harper’s 3-for-39 skid is nothing more than Harper being Harper.
He’s still going to hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs. But he’s going to have some periods when the hits don’t fall. That’s who he is. His batting averages over the last four seasons were .330, .246, .319 and .243. He’s not Mr. Consistency. He’s a roller coaster player who always seems to end up on the top of the hill. He’s not the reincarnation of Ted Williams. He’s a gritty, highly-competitive battler with a menacing swing and a dependable on-base percentage. He intimidates pitchers.
Last season, Harper’s batting average was .209 in June before he pulled it together in July, August and September.
The best indication of how Harper’s season is his on-base percentage, which is still at .376 and his projected pace. Despite having only one multi-hit game since April 15, he’s still on a pace to hit 40 more than 40 doubles and 30 home runs, plus drive in more than 100 runs.
He’s also on a pace for 123 walks. Last week, he had at least one walk in five consecutive games. A walk is as good as a hit. Haven’t we heard that somewhere?
When the Phillies committed $330 million to Harper, they knew what they were getting. They were not leasing a .300 hitter. They were getting a player who always manages to be in the middle of strong run production.
When this season is over, Harper will have accomplished what the Phillies brought him in to do. The numbers will be there. No reason to fret about an early-season slump.