Says Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post:
In a season when everybody is hitting home runs, Bryce Harper isn’t. With 18 bombs in 104 games, he was tied with nine other guys entering yesterday’s games — such as C.J. Cron, Rougned Odor and Paul DeJong — for 62nd in long balls.
Per-at-bat, he’s not top 100.
The reason is simple, for now.
There are three places in the strike zone you can pitch Harper where he almost never hits a homer. Unfortunately for the Phillies, those spots are anywhere up, anywhere away and anywhere down.
Look at Harper’s “pitch chart” at MLB.com, which divides the strike zone into nine areas. So far this year he has seen 596 pitches that were strikes in either the top third, the outer third or the bottom third of the strike zone. He has hit just five home runs — or one every 119 pitches.
There are just two of the nine boxes on that chart where Harper has shown power: right down the middle and waist-high on the inner third of the plate. He has seen 187 pitches in those spots and hit 13 home runs — or one every 14 pitches.