Bryce Harper, RGIII Defeat Boston in OT Thriller, Advance to Second Round

April 27, 2012

Quite the week in DC sports. Not to be outdone by the Redskins drafting their possible franchise QB or the unimpressive all year Capitals winning a playoff series in game 7 OT against the defending champions, the Nationals, desperate for offense, are calling up Bryce Harper to make his Major League debut on April 28. Good way to finish a great sports week! I’ve gotta say, I didn’t pick this date in the office pool, but I don’t think many others did. In fact, may reaction was sort like this

“Oh, the Nats are going to call up someone to play LF? That’s cute, are they bringing in Brown or Moore, or maybe… whaaaaaAAAAAAAAA?!?!?”

Not to worry about service time, though. Harper has played enough in the minors to be a Super 2. That mean he’ll remain under team control through 2018. And that is the most important thing, that they keep him when he is much closer to his peak. Of course, that means they’ll have to pay him in arbitration an extra year, but that could be avoided by a contract extension. Personally, I think it’s a bit early for his debut. And I’m certainly not the only one who feels this way. He is starting to hit better in AAA, but he’s still not doing particularly well there. There are probably a couple of other guys (like the aforementioned Brown or Moore) who have a chance to hit more than him.

And that’s the big question – how will he hit? He’s obviously a great player, and calling him a future All Star is probably underselling him. But as a 19 year old, he’d be in rare company to actually have what we’d call a “good” season. Here’s what I wrote about this in February:

He’ll be 19 this year, and 19 year old superstars aren’t usually great yet. ARod spent some of his 19 year old season in the minors, and hit .232/.264/.408 in his 149 Major League PAs that year. Justin Upton hit .221/.283/.364 in his 152 PAs in the Majors at age 19. Ken Griffey, Jr. hit .264/.329/.420 when he was 19, pretty decent, although not at all Griffey-like, but that was after TWO seasons  in the minors.

Read the rest of this entry »


Friday Morning Links

April 27, 2012

Yesterday’s SI article on the greatness of the Nats pitching. In it, Rizzo basically admits a philosophy I’ve been espousing all along – there’s no point in going out and signing some free agents to try to approach mediocrity (or, what I call, Orioles baseball 1998-2010) when you can just stink, get the best players in the draft, and enable a future.

Rob Neyer then gives his take on the SI article, asking How Believable is Unbelievable Nationals’ Pitching?

The Nats gave a long term contract last season to Jayson Werth, and he didn’t play very well. This year, he’s certainly lived up to it so far, but it’s very early. The other outfielder that signed a big time long term contract at the time, and the Nats other big option, though, wasn’t as good as Werth in 2011, and things just got way worse.

Hardball Times’ Frank Jackson has a cool history of the Eastern Shore League that was on the Eastern Shore you’re thinking of. Did you know that Mickey Cochrane played for Dover and Jimmy Foxx played for Easton?

Non-Nats:

The great gif Braden Holtby’s non-reaction to a fake slash from Peverley, a reaction that would have made a stoic Roman Republican era Senator, or dare I say, a honey badger, proud


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.