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.

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