Bryce Harper is currently hitting .347/.474/.722 and I was wondering what does a Bryce Harper slump look like. I was thinking that up until this series Bryce Harper hasn't been doing as well as he had been, but with Harper it feels like a failure when he doesn't reach base twice in a game. That is how good he's been going so I consider a Bryce Harper slump to be the period between his 24th and 25th home run, and that is a .269/.387/.423. That is a very good batting line, but this is what we expect from Bryce Harper. In his seven games between home runs he was still very good but not excellent and while a normal player slumping would look much worse a Bryce Harper slump turns him into an average player. On the other hand an .810 OPS is still almost .400 below his 2015 season OPS. If a normal above average player were .400 below their season OPS they'd be at .400 for their slump.
It's a little ridiculous Bryce Harper has been. I'm not sure how many games he'd have to go without reaching base to lower his season OPS to .900 but I'm certain it's a crazy number and a .900 OPS would still have him among the best players in the league. Bryce Harper is on a completely different level this season. Bryce Harper has a wRC+ of 223. Paul Goldschmidt is second in the majors at 189. Bryce Harper is 34% better than Paul Goldschmidt. Joe Panik has a 134 wRC+ meaning that Bryce Harper is as much better than Paul Goldschmidt as Joe Panik is to an average major league player. I am not certain we understand what we're watching without putting Bryce Harper into historical context.
We don't have to put Harper's season into the context of age, but it just so happens one of the greatest offensive seasons in baseball history was had by a 22 year old. In 1941 a 22 year old Ted Williams hit .406/.553/.735. Bryce Harper is currently third in OBP and second in slugging with Ted Williams having the top spot in both. Bryce Harper so far has a 1.198 OPS and Ted Williams finished 1941 with a 1.287. The chances of Bryce Harper equaling that season in 2015 are slim, but this puts Harper's 2015 into context. It isn't just a great offensive season. It is one of the best off all time.