It’s little secret that Bryce Harper hasn’t lived as much as his contract this season. Once you’re making $330 million over 13 years, it seems that’s fairly arduous to do.
Harper hasn’t performed badly — an .832 OPS with 1.5 WAR at this level within the yr is nothing to sneeze at. He simply hasn’t performed like Bryce Harper. His OPS could be his worst since 2016, and his house run manufacturing is down regardless of taking part in his house video games in a bandbox.
He has 20 house runs over 501 plate appearances, which, per evaluation completed by The Large Lead, is a 43% enhance within the variety of plate appearances it took him to succeed in the identical quantity final yr.
This downside is exacerbated by the size of Harper’s contract, which nearly ensures that any worth the Phillies get out of him shall be in its first few seasons.
The way in which he turns it round, particularly with each sport holding outsize significance to the NL wild-card race, is to do what everybody else in baseball is doing: Hit extra house runs.
His contract hasn’t began to get criticized broadly, but when issues proceed this manner, it can. He’ll be anticipated to carry out down the stretch and within the playoffs, which suggests hitting the ball out of the park.
If he can’t, he could not hear the top of it for the subsequent 12 years.