WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper will get to enjoy at least one more grand celebration as a hometown fan favorite at Nationals Park when he trots out to right field at the beginning of the All-Star Game.
Harper is batting sixth in his fifth All-Star start, the lowest he has been in the National League batting order since he hit in the No. 9 spot in 2013. In a contract year that could be his last with Washington, Harper is hitting .214 with a .365 on-base percentage, .468 slugging percentage, 23 home runs and 54 RBIs.
His .214 batting average is 60 points lower than the next-closest NL All-Star hitter, while his 23 home runs are one shy of the overall league lead.
"I look up there and see my average as well, and I look up there and go, 'Aw, man, well, that sucks,'" Harper said Monday, hours before taking part in the Home Run Derby. "But I look over a little bit to the right side of that and see 23 homers and  RBI and 80 walks and runs scored and stuff like that. I don't know.
"Should I be hitting .300 or .280? Yeah, absolutely. But I guess I am where I'm at, and hopefully the only way I can go is up."
Harper reiterated that it's no secret he is in the final year of his contract, and he brushed aside a question about trimming his beard last month when the New York Yankees came to town. But it's a shadow hanging over the first All-Star festivities in Washington since 1969.
"Everybody knew that at the beginning of the year this could be possibly my last year in D.C.," Harper said. "There's no elephant in the room. Everybody knows that that's a possibility. But I'm not really focused on that. I'm focused on what I can do to help the team win on a daily basis."
Boston's Mookie Betts leads off for the AL, followed by the Astros' Jose Altuve, Angels' Mike Trout, Red Sox's J.D. Martinez, Indians' Jose Ramirez, Yankees' Aaron Judge, Orioles' Manny Machado, White Sox's Jose Abreu and Royals' Salvador Perez.
Cubs second baseman Javier Baez leads off for the NL, followed by the Rockies' Nolan Arenado, Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt, Braves' Freddie Freeman, Dodgers' Matt Kemp, Harper, Braves' Nick Markakis, Giants' Brandon Crawford and Cubs' Willson Contreras.