According to Scott Boras, Bryce Harper’s contract year isn’t to blame for his recent slump.
Boras, who was in town for the introduction of client Mason Denaburg (Washington’s first-round pick), expounded by saying that Harper’s uncharacteristically low batting average isn’t necessarily a good indicator of his performance at the plate.
“I look at metrics about how hard you’re hitting the ball, and what you’re doing with the pitches that you can hit. When the league doesn’t want to participate in a way that’s customary, we can’t look at players in customary ways,” Boras said. “There’s no question that with the walk rates that Bryce Harper has, he’s going to have less hits. No doubt about that. You keep having to ask the question, why don’t they do this to other players if it’s so effective? The answer is that teams feel the benefit of pitching to those players, there’s much less of a consequence than there is to pitch to Harp. I would assume that has to do with his extraordinary power.”
Entering Tuesday, Harper was tied for the National League lead with 21 home runs. A career .285 hitter before this year, the 2015 MVP is hitting .217 this season entering play Tuesday.
Harper’s contract is set to expire after this season. The current record belongs to New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who signed a 13-year, $325 million pact with the Miami Marlins in 2014. He’ll break that record no matter what he does the rest of this year. His body of work speaks for itself.