Collette Calls: Bryce Harper On His Own

Collette Calls: Bryce Harper On His Own

This article is part of our Collette Calls series.

Lost in all the craziness of the 2021 season is the rather unique season Bryce Harper is having at the plate. The .266/.371/.505 line as play begins July 5 is not anything special, but his 26 RBIs in 61 games played is. That is only possible because all 14 of Harper's home runs in 2021 have come with nobody on base. We projected him for 99 RBIs this season, and yet his rest-of-season projections plus where he stands to date this season would bring him 25 RBIs short of that projection. How does such an established and notable player — someone whose ADP was 18 and went as high as second overall — miss his projected RBI total by that much?

Harper has notably missed some time in seasons over the years, but was an RBI machine in 2018 and 2019 when he was healthy:

Season

PA

HR

RBI

2012

597

22

59

2013

497

20

58

2014

395

13

32

2015

654

42

99

2016

627

24

86

2017

492

29

87

2018

695

34

100

2019

682

35

114

2020

244

13

33

2021

256

14

26

He spent a majority of 2012 and 2013 hitting second or third, but has hit third or fourth almost exclusively since.  RBI production is more of a measure of opportunity than it is actual performance.  Hitting in the middle part of the lineup leads to the most opportunities, so even a down year can lead to someone still driving in 70-plus

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Collette
Jason has been helping fantasy owners since 1999 at RotoJunkie, Fanball, Baseball Prospectus and now here at RotoWire. He covers the Tampa Bay Rays at theprocessreport.net. You can hear Jason weekly on many of the Sirius/XM Fantasy channel offerings throughout the season as well as on the Sleeper and the Bust podcast on iTunes. An eight-time FSWA finalist, Jason won the FSWA's Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year award in 2013 and the Baseball Series of the Year award in 2018 for Collette Calls.
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