Washington Nationals: Stats, streaks, and upcoming milestones

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 23: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals plays the field during batting practice before their game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on April 23, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 23: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals plays the field during batting practice before their game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on April 23, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 17: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals runs to first base after flying out for the third out of the fourth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park on July 17, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Bryce Harper

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.

Also, when Anthony Rendon, Daniel Murphy, and Adam Eaton return to the lineup, Harper will hopefully have more protection in the lineup, so teams won’t be so eager to send him to first.

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.

Breaking into the top 10 in walks is no small feat; only 4 players have ever walked 150 times in a season – Bonds (four times), Babe Ruth (twice), Ted Williams (twice), and Mark McGwire (once).

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