Bryce Harper
Despite hitting a pedestrian .243, Bryce Harper is the new lead off man for the Phillies. Good luck with that (YONG KIM / Philadelphia Inquirer)

I tried to tell you that Bryce Harper was overrated. I really did. You didn’t listen to me. That’s fine.

As of June 21st, 2019, Bryce Harper is hitting .243. On the season, Harper is a 0.3 WAR player. Doesn’t sound like a guy worth $330 million now does it? The Phillies are trying a new experiment to get Harper going. Introducing Philadelphia’s new lead off man… Bryce Harper.

You see, the goal for a lead off man is to hit for a high average. Harper does not do that. In fact, he hasn’t done that 3 of the past 4 years. Once again, Harper is hitting under .250. That’s the lead off guy you want, Philly? I will give Harper credit for one thing. He does draw his fair share of walks with an on base percentage of .357 this year. Then again, a lot of those walks come because of reputation, not because he’s actually a good baseball player.

If I were to put my Gabe Kapler hat on, I don’t understand why Scott Kingery isn’t getting this chance. Kingery is on fire hitting .338 in 133 atbats this year. Give him a shot. Even Jean Segura makes more sense who is a guy that has always hit for a high average. Even Roman Quinn makes more sense as a speed threat at the top. Giving Harper this job is just a desperation act for an overrated and overpaid baseball player.

If one thing is certain, the Phillies miss Andrew McCutchen a lot more than I thought they would. McCutchen tore his ACL on June 4th. Since that time, the Phillies are 7-8. McCutchen was great at driving up pitch counts, getting on base, and rarely striking out. Here’s what I do know. Harper does not provide the latter. He is punching out 29.2 percent of the time. Good luck with this experiment, Philly. I’m sure it won’t work out.

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