Floyd: Harper Will Never Be High-Average Hitter

Bryce Harper is a career .278 hitter and is batting .218 this season

Tiki and Tierney
July 10, 2018 - 9:46 am

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It may seem hard to believe, but Bryce Harper is in his seventh MLB season, and he’s never had 100 RBIs. In fact, he’s only had one season with more than 90 RBIs – and that was in 2015, when he hit a career-high 42 home runs. He’s also a career .278 hitter who is batting .218 this season.

Brandon Tierney believes that Harper will never be a high-average hitter. Cliff Floyd agrees.

“I’ll agree with that,” the former All-Star and World Series champion said on Tiki and Tierney. “It’s one of those things – you have to be careful when you talk about guys like him because they’re so good and so talented. I’ve always said this about Bryce Harper and being a left-handed hitter myself: at times, we can become one-dimensional. If you throw me anything in that area where I can absolutely destroy you and attack you, then I’m going to hurt you. But at the big league level, they’re going to always exploit your weaknesses. They’re going to always figure out how to get you out. If I throw you a middle-away fast ball and he goes left-center gap for a homer, they’re going to say it’s luck. They’re not going to say he can do it consistently. 

“So when I see a Harper hitting .215, you scratch your head, but you also understand the game,” Floyd continued. “He’s been hitting off the tee lately. Hats off to him for trying to figure out something, trying to go to the lab and figure out how to be more consistent with the one miss that he’s missing – and it’s not that he’s missing. He’s fouling it off. That’s one strike. Now you get the fast ball up and in, down in the zone to see if you’ll chase. And he’s leading the league in walks, so he don’t know if they’re going to pitch to him. And when they do pitch to him, they’re not in his happy zone. That’s why he’s struggling a lot.”

Harper’s struggles will undoubtedly impact him in free agency. Some analysts felt he would command a $400 million contract. That, however, seems unlikely.

“When you look at how the game is changed and how they’re paying these guys, power don’t really mean as much as we thought it used to mean,” Floyd said. “We thought production was everything. I’m not sitting here saying Bryce Harper is not going to get the bread. I hope he gets as much as he possibly can, but don’t be that guy. Don’t be sitting there and having to sweat when you’re 25 years of age and you have a chance to solidify your life and the your kids’ lives forever by sitting there waiting – because the game is changing and your numbers aren’t proving that you’re that consistent, every-year, write-them-down, take-a-picture type of stats where I don’t have to worry about my investment.”