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Bryce Harper is Somehow Performing Worse in 2019 Than Much Cheaper Kole Calhoun

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 07: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts to Scott Kingery #4 scoring on an error in the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on June 7, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 4-2. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Reds v Philadelphia Phillies | Drew Hallowell

When the Philadelphia Phillies handed $330 million to outfielder Bryce Harper, it was met with a slew of mixed emotions. Some asked why any player would be worth that much money, while others praised the move as the missing piece for a Phillies' championship run.

Regardless of what you yourself thought of the contract at the time, it's pretty clear that the early stages of the deal haven't produced the expected results.

To be fair, Harper's season hasn't been terrible -- he's always been a high on-base guy, and his .357 on-base percentage is close to the top of the league. He's slugging .466 and has an OPS+ of 113, meaning his OPS is 13 percent above league average. One thing that hasn't gotten better, though, is his inability to avoid the strikeout, as he currently sits atop the leaderboard in Ks with 87.

Again, not awful. But for that much money? It's not even close to what you want. In fact, Harper is being outplayed by guys making significantly less money -- Kole Calhoun, for example, who is eclipsing Harper's numbers despite only earning around $9 million this season.

Neither Harper nor Calhoun have been travesties this season. I would even go as far as to say neither player has been below-average. And if the Phillies make a deep postseason run, Harper will be at the center of it. But where he's at this season makes you wonder if all that money was really worth it, at least at this point in the deal.