Archive | March, 2012

Drafting Bryce Harper? Not so fast

5 Mar

If you’re seriously considering drafting Bryce Harper in a non-keeper league, back away from the computer. This is not the year to jump on the Bryce bandwagon like far too many owners have done. I’m not saying Harper isn’t good. I’m not saying he’ll never be good. All I’m saying is this year is not the time to be one of those people blowing a pick on him before the 18th round if you aren’t in a keeper league. Even then, it’s iffy.

The Nats want Harper to make the team out of spring training. they want it to happen so bad it would likely take being struck by lightning to stop it from happening. They want him in right field for their home opener. It will be a ticket sales bonanza! After that first day though, odds are Harper will ride the pine more often than not. Harper would need to hit like a man on fire to get a starting spot out of spring training, and even if he did, odds are he couldn’t hold it long.

Harper was only a .250 range hitter at AA. he struggled against the breaking ball. The really high cheese gave him problems. The inside pitch gave him problems. these are all things he has more than enough time and talent to adjust to, but the odds of making those adjustments at the MLB level aren’t that great. Then keep in mind, he’s no longer catcher eligible. The depth in the outfield is like the Marianas Trench. He’s in the NL, so DH’ing is only an option in interleague play – and something more likely given to a veteran for a half day off than a kid.

Listen, Harper is a kid I like – in maybe two years. There is some talk that a few people in the organization want him back in the minors until September. he needs time to play so he can make the adjustments he needs to progress. Let’s not forget, he’s just 19! Griffey Jr. broke in at that age and played well, but nothing that was spectacular like some owners are projecting for Harper. Think realistically, and save your pick. Grab him late and stick him in one of your minor league slots if possible. Just don’t be the guy at the draft taking him in the 5th round based on hype. Everyone laughs at that guy.

Manny Ramirez found Jesus – but did Jesus help Manny find his swing?

5 Mar

There is a part of me that is happy to see Manny Ramirez back in baseball. He’s a cheat for sure, and as much as I hate that, he’s also entertaining as all get out to watch. Manny had one of the sweetest swings I’ve ever seen. Manny can flat out rake. Not enough to even consider drafting him in my fantasy league, but enough that he can provide some value for a team – particularly one like the A’s that needs anything to draw people. Let’s not kid ourselves – the deal is as much PR as wished for production. After a year away from the game though, what can we expect?

Supposedly, Manny is much calmer and quieter. he has formed a strengthened relationship with Jesus. Good for him! If that provides him peace and makes him a better person that is awesome. As Pedro Cerrano once said though, “I like Jesus very much but he no help me hit the curve ball.” I’m hoping Manny won’t need prayer to catch up to the nasty breaking stuff, but lets be honest – his production was sliding with age. He’s missed as many games as he’s played with suspensions, retirement and injuries. His power is not what it used to be. He wasn’t peppering the gaps with line drives. he was more or less a serviceable hitter.

Manny can’t play the outfield too much. He isn’t running well. His arm is said to be a bit off from where it was. He’s been calm though and maybe he’ll be a good mentor. One can only hope so. More than likely, he’ll sell some tickets. Will he be an impact player? Probably not, but he’ll be fun to watch hopefully.