Bryce Harper has been in a nasty slump – 6-38 with 0 extra-base hits – over his last 13 games, but he is still drawing walks at a near-record rate.
After 2 intentional walks on Monday night against Pittsburgh and another on Tuesday, the 25-year-old outfielder has worked a free pass in 29 percent of his 2018 plate appearances, something not seen since peak Barry Bonds in the early 2000s.
In fact, Harper, who currently has 39 walks in 30 games, is on pace for 210 walks this year. That would rank second all-time behind just 2004 Bonds (232).
Of course, Harper is very unlikely to remain on this blistering pace. April stats almost always fall off over the season, and Harper will not play in every game this year, as he has done so far through the first month.
Still, it’s reasonable to expect Harper to finish top-10 in total walks for a season in 2018. Jeff Bagwell is currently 10th all-time with 149 walks in 1999; even when Harper drops off his incredible current pace, he should still be able to earn at least 150 free passes for the year.