Bryce Harper Links

Assorted links about baseball's most popular 17-year-old, Bryce Harper

  • Harper tops Keith Law's updated list of the top 100 prospects in this year's draft (ESPN insider link). Manny Machado, Jameson Taillon and Drew Pomeranz aren't far behind.
  • MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo explains that few hitters after Harper are considered safe bets this year.
  • Harper's advisor Scott Boras told SI's Tom Verducci, "No baseball person in his right mind will have the guy catch."  Baseball America's Jim Callis sees the Nationals moving Harper to a corner outfield position, allowing him to reach the Majors in September of 2012 at the earliest.  Also in that piece, Callis compares Pomeranz to other recent college lefties.
  • Yahoo's Tim Brown wonders what it's like to be Harper.
  • Joe Posnanski cautions that unlike Stephen Strasburg, Harper is a long way from being big-league ready.  A lot can go wrong in that time.


48 Responses to Bryce Harper Links Leave a Reply

  1. DarthVader87 5 years ago

    You know, Joe has a point. When you think about big young prospects and how much they change. I remember when Dunn was known for his speed. Then he grew some more.

  2. jwredsox 5 years ago

    I like Joe Posnanski’s article. Well written (though still some typos) and it shows just how Harper type prospects have been seen before and just haven’t panned out. Plus the scout’s analysis is something people don’t expect to hear and haven’t heard of, though 3-4 years in the minors wouldn’t be unfounded. And he also isn’t the first guy to bring up Harper’s long swing, though other scouts said it could give him trouble hitting a major league fastball rather than a breaking ball.

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      My concern is how the Nationals will handle him, based on pressure from media/fans/if the team is in playoff hunt. Do they put him right in AA after being in JUCO? If he’s hot for the first month does everyone flip out and move him to AAA? If he’s bad for the first week do they demote him? Etc.

      • jwredsox 5 years ago

        They showed how careful they were by starting Strasburg in AA when he could have easily pulled a Mike Leake and started in the majors right away. I wouldn’t be too afraid of it.

  3. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Joe’s article was really well written. Cautionary tales are important, as is historical perspective. Of course, you could have written the EXACT SAME article last year with Strausburg. The draft is littered with “polished” and “MLB Ready” college pitchers who absolutely tanked or severely under-performed. Can’t miss pitching prospects miss just as often as positional players.The moral of the story is that the draft is inherently risky. You can minimize risk through proper scouting but this is still a very imperfect science. Harper, like Gordon, represent the best choice available. The fact that Gordon didn’t pan out like Zimmerman does not mean that the Royals made the wrong choice. Rather, factors that were unknown to anyone at the time of the draft have colluded against the Royals to make this pick look bad. It’s not a failure on the part of the Royals draft strategy. It is simply an acknowledgement that player progression rarely follows scout projections or statistical models.

  4. Red_Line_9 5 years ago

    How soon can Harper be traded? It’d be interesting to see what kind of package his beloved Yankees would give the Nats for him.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      seeing if he signs, the soonest he can be traded is the trade deadline of 2011.

    • aap212 5 years ago

      One year after being drafted is the rule, though technically he could be a player to be named later a few months before that, just without changing hands until the year mark. The Yankees don’t really have good pieces to get him though.

  5. Advisor my butt! Boras is such a phony jerk. You know you’re his agent.

    Why is it not against the rules for BH to have obvious contact with an agent, like it is for CFB & CBB players?

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      Why should it be

    • Red_Line_9 5 years ago

      A few years ago there was a lawsuit won by an Oklahoma State pitcher, Oliver Odle, I believe, who had been declared ineligible by the NCAA for having an “advisor”….I believe the courts declared that it infringed his personal freedoms.

      It’s all in the name anyway. I was in that Oklahoma State clubhouse during the mid-90s and agents called frequently…right to the baseball offices. I spoke to Dennis Gilbert one occasion myself.

    • What? Whether you like it or not, the guy is the best at what he does. Boras 1, you none.

      Rev, I concur, Why should it be?

      Lose the jealousy j…

      • Red_Line_9 5 years ago

        It’s kind of like my theory on law. Why make laws that are unenforceable. These “advisers” have existed since there was money to be had in the amatuer draft. Who wouldn’t want representation when maybe $15 mil is on the line? Any other person would be entitled to as much.

        Can the Nationals legally negotiate with a minor?

        • Zack23 5 years ago

          “Can the Nationals legally negotiate with a minor?”
          It’s not the first time a prospect under 18 has signed (domestically or internationally) so it’s safe to say they use the proper legal process.

        • Zack23 5 years ago

          “Can the Nationals legally negotiate with a minor?”
          It’s not the first time a prospect under 18 has signed (domestically or internationally) so it’s safe to say they use the proper legal process.

  6. malcolmec 5 years ago

    CadeMan, the real issue isn’t that Harper is going to be paid a lot of money while hes still a teenager. The issue is that he’ll be offered millions of dollars before he’s actually done anything. For players drafted directly out of amateur baseball to be able to demand the sort of money Boras demands for his clients is simply absurd. Sure, the kid will have a financially sound future, but for the owners of ballclubs it’s a terrible business practice to have to sign unproven talent to massive contracts. I’m not going to complain about wealthier teams signing free agents for huge contracts, but if a team is struggling simply to sign the high draft picks its supposedly getting in compensation for losing big name players to free agency the system is completely ridiculous.

    This is the real problem that agents like Scott Boras are perpetuating: they’re gentrifying baseball to the point where players make so much that the only way for teams to compensate is to either not spend any money on trying to win and field a crappy team that no one wants to watch or raise the cost of tickets, merchandise, etc. so much that the average fan can’t afford to go to games. If all of a sudden you have to pay draft picks insane amounts of money, it becomes a lot harder to accumulate the fan base you’re going to need to sustain a winning team, since you’re unable to make the team accessible to fans while the young talent is still coming up.

    You’re right that Harper needs to go to the next level and face better competition ASAP. However, he and everyone else should also understand that most people don’t get paid a lot of money until they’ve proven they’re worth the investment. He should have to sign a minor league deal for a few hundred thousand and work his way up to a big pay day like everyone else. Maybe that will motivate him to become the superstar everyone expects him to be and not just sit on a career’s worth of cash while floundering around apathetically in the minor leagues.

    • Red_Line_9 5 years ago

      I would much rather see the Pirates and Royals sink a few million into a top draft pick than the mediocre free agents they typically have available to them in the offseason.

      I could really care less what a player gets paid. What I do care about is being priced out of the ballparks. Whatever it takes to get me and my boys into a major league game at a fair price is what needs to happen. I’m curious how the “QQ” ticketing system is working for the Giants. I saw that they had $15 outfield seats in July against the Marlins. That’s $10 less than the Royals. What gets me is that teams have plenty of empty seats on any given night. Wouldn’t it be better to have them filled at $15 than empty at $25?

    • Red_Line_9 5 years ago

      I would much rather see the Pirates and Royals sink a few million into a top draft pick than the mediocre free agents they typically have available to them in the offseason.

      I could really care less what a player gets paid. What I do care about is being priced out of the ballparks. Whatever it takes to get me and my boys into a major league game at a fair price is what needs to happen. I’m curious how the “QQ” ticketing system is working for the Giants. I saw that they had $15 outfield seats in July against the Marlins. That’s $10 less than the Royals. What gets me is that teams have plenty of empty seats on any given night. Wouldn’t it be better to have them filled at $15 than empty at $25?

    • Red_Line_9 5 years ago

      The very successful teams have excellent rounds 5-15 in the draft. Anyone can scout a Strasburg or Harper. That first round is typically a lock anyway..The Nats are almost obligated to pick Harper. Watch a team like Colorado who typically drafts well through the draft.

      Albert Pujols played HS ball a stones throw from Kauffman Stadium. The Royals had 5 rounds to take him before the Cards got him. The risk involved in Bryce Harper is staggering. I’m not sure why a team would take on that burden. There can’t possibly be that much of a gap intalent between him and other 1st rounders.

      • Zack23 5 years ago

        Not defending the Royals but Pujols was also not in great shape in HS and even in college. He was round and had no position. So HOF wasn’t stamped on his face.

        • Red_Line_9 5 years ago

          I hear you on Pujols. But it also proves the point about phenoms. How many “Can’t Miss” guys were taken ahead of him? He did nothing but mash from day one.

          As a side note….I coached against Pujols when he was with the semipro Hays Larks. He was a great player and we knew he was a prospect, but I can’t even say that he was the best player in that league. The LaRoche Brothers and I believe Nate Robertson were around the Jayhawk and Walter Johnson League at that time

      • Zack23 5 years ago

        Not defending the Royals but Pujols was also not in great shape in HS and even in college. He was round and had no position. So HOF wasn’t stamped on his face.

    • Red_Line_9 5 years ago

      The very successful teams have excellent rounds 5-15 in the draft. Anyone can scout a Strasburg or Harper. That first round is typically a lock anyway..The Nats are almost obligated to pick Harper. Watch a team like Colorado who typically drafts well through the draft.

      Albert Pujols played HS ball a stones throw from Kauffman Stadium. The Royals had 5 rounds to take him before the Cards got him. The risk involved in Bryce Harper is staggering. I’m not sure why a team would take on that burden. There can’t possibly be that much of a gap intalent between him and other 1st rounders.

    • mal, aren’t we signing FA’s for previous achievements in hopes that those achievements will continue to occur? Also, yes the bonuses have increased, but the reality is, it’s an investment. They lock the kids in for 5-6 maturing years at a discount rate. See Tim Lincecum. We, this board, as a whole have no clear insight or reasoning to not allow this young man to be drafted. Bottom line: he is good enough at age 17 to go number 1. Let him go.

      • malcolmec 5 years ago

        Yes, technically you’re right, and I’m not a big fan of that either, but at least players have to put up good numbers at the Major League level in order to get those big contracts, so it could just as easily be considered a reward for good performance. I think anyone would agree that giving a multimillion dollar contract to a proven star in the prime of his career is a much better investment than paying that money to a teenager with superstar potential who is yet to face Major League pitching… and Cory, while I’m in the same boat as you in the sense that I just want to be able to afford to go to the ballpark, I don’t see how ticket prices can stay reasonable if Major League salaries continue to inflate. If the MLB really doesn’t want to have a salary cap, owners are just going to have to be more frugal with contracts, and with teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, etc. around I doubt we’ll see that happen.

        • Mal, that’s why in the big scheme of things like average annual salary (I think 3.7m for MLB player), a draft pick does not make MLB level money. Only elite level draft picks make that kind of money. They still have to prove themselves. I said earlier, see Tim Lincecum. Back to Back CY Young winner. 2/23m is cheap for that kind of return on ticket sales and marketing and the Giants know it. Arbitration allows them to plea their case for an increase in salary at a “less than seasoned” level. The system is not perfect, but if you are truly the best talent available, you should be entitiled to a paycheck that accounts for that?
          Owners know all of this, and they still “invest”.

    • mal, aren’t we signing FA’s for previous achievements in hopes that those achievements will continue to occur? Also, yes the bonuses have increased, but the reality is, it’s an investment. They lock the kids in for 5-6 maturing years at a discount rate. See Tim Lincecum. We, this board, as a whole have no clear insight or reasoning to not allow this young man to be drafted. Bottom line: he is good enough at age 17 to go number 1. Let him go.

  7. Zack23 5 years ago

    Seriously? He’s 16 and has a GED, there are 18+ year olds who dont have GEDs. Why should MLB somehow prevent what path you take for your education?

    NCAA coaches having kids throw 130-160 pitches in outings is a far greater concern.

  8. bjsguess 5 years ago

    What would you have Harper do? Stay in HS, risk injury, not play against decent competition? That’s your game plan for Harper?

  9. Well i agree in principle, however he had nothing left to gain by facing high school pitching. He was getting intentionally walked every single plate appearance in high school. he did what was best for his future. Type of players like him come along every once in awhile. this is not going to happen again for a very long time. the whole undrafted part is very doubtful if he that talented he will get drafted anyway.

  10. Zack makes solid points on this one.

    Listen, bottom line is he completed his education, and he did it with initiative and ambition. He is going to capitalize on his age in the draft and secure himself financially for the rest of his life. Isn’t that what we are all truly attempting to do ourselves?

    To collaborate your point Zack, see Jon Peters of Brenham High School. The kid was not able to be drafted and manicured by MLB because he was under 18 according to May 8, 1988 issue of Sports Illustrated. The kid then went on to basically melt his arm off from bad mechanics and low level coaching.

  11. aap212 5 years ago

    But it’s okay for Dominican teenagers to essentially drop out of high school to prepare to sign as 16-year olds?

  12. redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

    Harper is 17 i dont mean to nit pick lol

  13. It has worked for many before him, hasn’t it?

  14. J, think about your comment, I mean, actually think about what you just said. You are proposing that Harper stay at a lower level of competition and risk injury and possibly risk his future? You’re proposing that he not join the workforce and become a contributing tax paying member of society in a down/depression economy? You’re proposing that his parents teach him that our soldiers who defend his and their right to make this decision for his financial future, are all dying in vain to defend his right to make this leap?

    I find it funny that we will volunteer a child (of legal working age) to mow the neighbor’s lawn for $10, or to bag groceries for tips, but contest his right to secure his family’s financial future for lifetimes to come by entering the draft at a young age. Where is the rationale in that?

    Think about it. His parents will make the decision, not the arm chair quarterbacks or the never-has-beens.

    There is so much selfishness that is displayed on some of the comments concerning Harper. If he was a great pianist, everyone would be on board. A great vocalist, everyone would be voting for him. But, because he plays a sport like baseball, everyone becomes an expert on how to raise a child. MLB is offering Harper the best coaches, doctors, trainers, experts, and you oppose this? And on top of it all, they are offering him a job with access to all the mentioned perks. If the job had the name accountant, carpenter, etc, attached to it, we would all accept the position without hesitation. But because it is baseball, we have stipulations. He will now be a tax payer. That alone should hold enough weight for the argument.

  15. Zack23 5 years ago

    I really dont understand what you’re complaining about.

    1. They have advisors, if they are not top talent, there is no reason for them to follow in Harper’s footsteps. And if they do- that’s their choice.
    2. The NBA is different, once they pass the deadline they cant take their name out of the drat and return to school, they lose their eligibility. Second, often times those HS kids who go undrafted in the NBA lack the grades to enter a D1 school. And of course there are family issues where a kid can’t afford to wait and needs that paycheck to help his family – paychecks overseas that are bigger than most college graduates are making.
    3. It’s not putting his eggs in one basket. He already has more education than many people, and is in line to get guaranteed millions. If he struggled in JUCO, people would just say it’s because everyone was 2-3 years older and he’d still be a first round pick, if he was a senior this year, like Posnanski states, he’d be pitched around all season and there would still be questions about his swing
    4. Again, every person is responsible for their own decision, stop trying to pass the blame onto someone else.

  16. aap212 5 years ago

    More American kids should be in vocational school instead of college tracks. If you’re Bryce Harper and have a clear path to a substantial professional payday (and most likely some level of success in a field), why bother with college? The NBA is stupid, patronizing, and unfair to make kids risk injury for one year of college. If a prospect is one tenth as good as Harper and skips college, he can invest his bonus and go to college later. And if you’re not good enough for it to be worth it just for the initial bonus? Have the self-awareness and support system to not do it.

  17. aap212 5 years ago

    More American kids should be in vocational school instead of college tracks. If you’re Bryce Harper and have a clear path to a substantial professional payday (and most likely some level of success in a field), why bother with college? The NBA is stupid, patronizing, and unfair to make kids risk injury for one year of college. If a prospect is one tenth as good as Harper and skips college, he can invest his bonus and go to college later. And if you’re not good enough for it to be worth it just for the initial bonus? Have the self-awareness and support system to not do it.

  18. Fluff? Not one bit on my part.

  19. Fluff? Not one bit on my part.

  20. Solid point

  21. Solid point

  22. Zack23 5 years ago

    You’re saying he shouldn’t have finished high school early because why: it’s a bad model for future young prospects? That’s your point correct? If not, correct me.

  23. Zack23 5 years ago

    Can’t you say the same thing about kids who are really smart and skip grades and such?
    That’s why those kids have advisors in school, and why prospects have advisors for their baseball future- to give them realistic options. If people choose to ignore advise and do what they want, I’m not going to blame Harper, because those people would have made bad decisions regardless of him.

  24. Zack23 5 years ago

    Can’t you say the same thing about kids who are really smart and skip grades and such?
    That’s why those kids have advisors in school, and why prospects have advisors for their baseball future- to give them realistic options. If people choose to ignore advise and do what they want, I’m not going to blame Harper, because those people would have made bad decisions regardless of him.

  25. Doc, you make the statement that you have been around the game your entire life, but what is your involvement concerning players that are actually paid for their services?

    In this case, it appears as though the parents are making wise and calculated decisions for their sons future. Whether he goes down as the greatest or the biggest flop (JaMarcus Russell), his financial future is secured in that one draft day. That is calculated. Parents, yes, can push their kids too far in some occasions, but what about the kids that rise to the occasion? Would they have know had they not been pushed? Would Pujols not be Pujols if he did not come through when things were on the line? Some kids, maybe Harper maybe not, can stand the pressure and were created for such moments.

  26. He definitely should’ve hung out and malingered on a high school campus that offered him no real scholastic gain, then caught a case of senior-itis, and gotten in trouble for truancy, etc. He probably should go ahead and attend the senior trip in which he impregnates some chick, and ends up having his kidney removed and sold on the black market in some third world country that offered all inclusive alcohol.

    Ambition is frowned upon in America whether we as Americans want to admit it or not.

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