Bryce Harper is Quietly Having an Elite Season at the Plate

MLB: AUG 25 Phillies at Nationals
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 25: Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) congratulates right fielder Bryce Harper (3) after scoring a run during the Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals MLB game at Nationals Park on August 25, 2020 in Washington, D.C.. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire)

Bryce Harper: leads the Phillies in runs scored (58), stolen bases (twelve), on-base percentage (.416), and slugging percentage (.547). He is third across the League in OBP and seventh overall in OPS (.963).

And yet no one is talking about him.

In fact, some ‘fans’ even think Harper hasn’t been doing well.

Well, today we fix that.

Hot Streak Through the Dog Days of Summer

Over his last 24 games, Harper has 31 hits with nearly half of them (15) being doubles with two home runs as well. One such of those home runs was his inside-the-park home run on July 27th against his former team. Interestingly enough, Harper’s best streak of the season has come during a home run drought. From July 7th to the 27th, Harper went 58 plate appearances without a home run.

Bryce Harper has walked an impressive 22 times while striking out only 15 times over the past 24-game stretch. Overall, Harper has an insane .302/.520/.650 slash line over that stretch.

A Strong Approach at the Plate

The key to his success, you ask? A strong approach at the plate.

First, Harper owns a 15.4 BB% at the plate this season, which places him in the top three percent of the league. While his overall strikeout percentage is still sitting at 22.9%, the fact that Harper has had more walks than strikeouts in the past 24 games indicates just how patient he has been at the plate as of late.

The Fact That Harper Has Had More Walks Than Strikeouts In the Past 24 Games Indicates Just How Patient He Has Been At The Plate As Of Late.

Additionally, when Harper has hit the ball this season, he has been on the ball. While 16 home runs on the season is a little low for some fans, Bryce Harper has been making superb contact all season. This contact manifests statistically in sweet spot%, which shows that Harper has been connecting with the sweet spot of the bat 37.8% of the time this year, a career-high.

xBA (Percentile)xSLG (Percentile)xWOBACON (Percentile)
.297 (Top 3%).565 (Top 5%).504 (Top 3%)

Additionally, he’s in the top 10 of the league with a Barrels/PA% of 10.1. Essentially, this indicates that Harper is barreling the ball in 10.1% of all his plate appearances on the season. Joining Harper in the top ten are big-name hitters such as Shohei Ohtani, Fernando Tatis Jr., Ronald Acuna Jr., and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Coming Down the Stretch

Following last week’s trade deadline, the Phillies are 2.5 games back from the Mets for first place in the NL East. Despite all of the struggles the team has had this season, a ticket into the postseason is still within grasp for the Phillies. If they are to execute, however, the Phillies will need some of their big-ticket players to lead the way.

Harper is doing so.

In fact, when Harper has recorded a hit in the ballgame, the Phillies are 33-24. When Harper appeared in a game but failed to record a hit? 9-19. Since coming to Philadelphia, Harper has become a cornerstone piece of the Phillies’ offense, one that the Phillies will need to rely on down the stretch.

Harper Has Become A Cornerstone Piece Of The Phillies’ Offense, One That The Phillies Will Need To Rely on Down The Stretch.

And with an upcoming schedule including the Mets, Dodgers, Padres and Rays in the month of August, the Phillies will need Harper, and the whole offense, to continue to produce.

Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire