Tag:Bryce Harper
Posted on: October 6, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 10:13 pm

Bryce Harper rooting for Yankees on Twitter

By Matt Snyder

Bryce Harper was the top overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft ... for the Washigton Nationals. He reached Double-A in the Nats system this year and could be in the majors as soon as next season. He'll certainly be there by 2013 and is a major part of a bright future for Washington. He's also a bit polarizing, as many fans don't seem to like him for whatever the reason. For those, the following two tweets aren't likely to gain Harper any more fans. During Thursday night's ALDS Game 5 between the Yankees and the the Tigers, Harper -- again, a member of the Nationals -- was openly rooting for the Yankees. Or maybe just CC Sabathia?

This just doesn't seem like the thing he should be letting the public -- including his teammates, coaches and Nationals fans -- see. Harper is a professional baseball player in the Washington Nationals system. He can openly root for a major-league team if he wants, as long as it's the Nationals. Just saying he loves the Nats wasn't enough. He shouldn't be rooting for anyone else. Period.

UPDATE: That didn't take long. The first two tweets have been deleted by Harper. Evidently he realized his error or someone else told him to delete them.

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Posted on: September 8, 2011 2:32 pm

Bryce Harper's season quietly ends

By Matt Snyder

Due to his ailing hamstring, highly-touted Nationals prospect Bryce Harper will not play in the Double-A playoffs for the Harriburg Senators, which means we can officially close the book on his first professional season (Nationals Journal). The young outfielder will next play in the Arizona Fall League, which begins October 4.

The 18-year-old phenom began the season in Low-A Hagerstown and then jumped a level to Double-A. His numbers for both levels combined: .297 average, 17 homers, 58 RBI, 63 runs, 26 stolen bases and 13 outfield assists. Not bad for someone who was supposed to be graduating high school in June. He did falter a bit in Double-A, though he was far from bad. Expect him to begin in Double-A next season, and it's easy to foresee a September call-up if all goes well. Also expect him to be ranked the No. 1 prospect in baseball by pretty much every outlet.

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Posted on: September 2, 2011 9:40 am

Pepper: Royals could resemble Brewers soon

By Evan Brunell

Promising turnaround: The Royals figure to lose at least 90 games, but the chatter in baseball remains overwhelmingly positive for Kansas City, who is drawing comparisons to Milwaukee.

Boasting the best farm team in the bigs, K.C. has already begun integrating its young players into the team, especially on offense where the Royals have a brand-new infield. Shortstop Alcides Escobar kicked off the year with the Royals after coming over from Milwaukee in the Zack Greinke trade, while Eric Hosmer received the first minor-league promotion at first base. Mike Moustakas followed soon to play the hot corner, while Johnny Giavotella just came up to man second.

Greinke, a former Royal, faced Hosmer in a rehab start in April and remarked that it was like facing a 10-year veteran.

“You probably know this,” Greinke told Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star. “But Eric Hosmer is really good. I mean, really good.”

Greinke is now with the Brewers, a team Mellinger says could be how the Royals look like in a few years if and when their young pitching prospects start bearing fruit.

The offense seems to have it all -- two defensive linchpins in Escobar and catcher Salvador Perez, home-run threats in Hosmer and Moustakas, and a capable bat in Giavotella. And we haven't even talked about the resurgent Alex Gordon in left field, or the fine season that Melky Cabrera has turned in. Yep, baseball in K.C. is looking sharp.

Going yard: The 1,000th career hit for Jeff Francouer was a home run. "He told us he was going to get it in his first at-bat and he did, he didn't mess around with it," manager Ned Yost told MLB.com.

Baby giraffe: Brandon Belt has gained a nickname -- that of "Baby Giraffe." Well, he met the real thing when Six Flags Discovery Kingdom named its newborn giraffe after Belt, of which you can see pictures on Belt's blog. (A Veteran and a Rook)

MVP pitcher? Cole Hamels disagrees with my assessment that a pitcher should be eligible for -- and potentially win -- the MVP, calling the Cy Young Award the pitcher's version.

"We only play once every five days and I don’t know how much we can affect a team by winning all 33 or 34 starts because you still have to win 90 something games to make the postseason," Hamels told the Dan Patrick Show, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. You need an everyday player to really go out there and play 140 to 150 games to really be a sorta MVP candidate.”

My comeback? Don't look at games played. Look at at-bats. A hitter will generally receive roughly 600 plate appearances a year, while a pitcher will face a few hundred more hitters over the course of a season. Position players may play in significantly more games, but pitchers impact the games they pitch in far more than a hitter. It all balances out.

Bryce running: Bryce Harper, on the disabled list for Double-A, ran for the first time since straining his hamstringo on Thursday. The team is hopeful he can participate in the minor-league postseason. (Washington Post)

Baseball in the Netherlands: The Dutch look to be in prime position to host a baseball game in 2014, with the Netherlands preparing to submit a bid for a game to be played in Hoofddorp, a small city outside of Amsterdam. You don't hear much about baseball and the Netherlands, but interestingly enough, it's considered "the baseball powerhouse of Europe," Alex Remington writes. (Fangraphs)

Walk angry: Adrian Gonzalez struck out on a called strike to end the Yankees-Red Sox game on Thursday, with New York coming away with a victory after Mariano Rivera loaded the bases in the ninth inning. "That pitch was down, I should still be hitting. That's all I have to say," he told the Boston Globe. Maybe, but Gonzalez shouldn't have swung at two painfully obvious balls. For someone with his plate discipline, he sure looked antsy up at the plate.

Banged-up Sox: J.D. Drew's return to Boston figures to be delayed at least a week, but Kevin Youkilis could return as early as Friday. Another injured Sox player, Clay Buchholz, made 35 throws from 60 feet and reported no progress with his back. Buchholz's return may not happen until the playoffs, but if he can come back, it's a major shot in the arm. (Boston Globe)

Hobbled Yanks: Mark Teixeira had to leave Thursday's game with a bruised right knee after being hit by a pitch, and he looks as if he will miss a few games, the New York Post writes. Alex Rodriguez, meanwhile, is hopeful he can rejoin the starting lineup on Friday but admitted he just isn't sure to the Post.

Big step: Adam Wainwright will throw his first bullpen session shortly after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The season is lost for the Cards right-hander, but he can get himself ready to go for the 2012 season. It's possible that if a St. Louis minor-league affiliate goes deep into the playoffs that he could make a rehab start before baseball shuts down. (MLB.com)

Under the knife: Twins top prospect Kyle Gibson will wrap up a disappointing year by undergoing Tommy John surgery. Gibson was expected to win a rotation spot at some point during the year, but now Minnesota will have to cast its eye to 2013 for any significant production out of the first-rounder. (Minnesota Star Tribune)

Backpacking: A new trend is emerging in baseball as part of an old one. The junior member of a bullpen has always been expected to haul a bag full of snacks, drinks and pain medications to the bullpen. Lately, however, the bag has morphed into gear designed to embarrass the player -- a Hello Kitty backpack -- for example. The New York Times looks at the increasing trend.
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Posted on: August 30, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: August 30, 2011 4:48 pm

Harper, Trout to team up in Arizona Fall League

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Talk about one-stop shopping -- one Arizona Fall League team will feature the two best prospects in baseball, or at least that's what one of them tweets.

Bryce Harper tweeted that he and the Angels' Mike Trout will be on the same team in Arizona this fall.

Here's the word straight from Harper:


It seemed to catch Trout off guard, as he responded:

Both will be on the Scottsdale Scorpions, MLB.com reported on Tuesday. Mariners' first-round pick Danny Hultzen and Brewers first-rounder Jed Bradley, both left-handed starters, will play for the Peoria Javelinas.

The Fall League kicks off Oct. 4 and runs through November, with the championship game on Nov. 19. Harper played for the Scorpions last season, but was part of the "taxi squad" that limited him to two games a week. This season he should be able to play full-time. And an outfield of him and Trout should be worth watching closely -- the two were the consensus top two prospects before the season and did nothing to change that standing this season.

H/T Orange County Register

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Posted on: August 13, 2011 12:36 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2011 1:55 pm

Video: Harper hits a walk-off homer

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Well, Bryce Harper was in the news when he got ejected the other day, so I figured maybe we should even out the coverage of baseball's top prospect.

Friday night Harper came to the plate with one one and one out and Harper's Harrisburg Senators trailing 2-1. With a full count, Harper crushed Ryan Pope's curveball to straight-away center for his third home run at Double-A. Check out the video here (Harper's homer is at the 2:05 mark):

Senators hitting coach Troy Gingrich told Andrew P. Shay of the Patriot News that Harper's homer was just the seventh home run to clear the batter's eye in dead center.

"It's definitely the furthest one I've ever seen hit," Gingrich said. "Awesome at-bat, awesome. Down 0-2 and working it back to 3-2. Then he hit the same hanging curveball."

Here's another angle on the home run:

HT to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

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Posted on: August 11, 2011 12:48 am
Edited on: August 11, 2011 12:49 am

Video: Harper ejected for arguing third strike

By Matt Snyder

Nationals phenom Bryce Harper has climbed to Double-A at just 18 years old and is the top prospect in baseball, so when he does things we might otherwise ignore, it's going to get noticed. Wednesday night, he was ejected following what he deemed was a questionable call -- actually two, because he appears to be saying "that's twice" to the umpire.

Here's the video:

Being that Harper is polarizing, an argument is sure to ensue about Harper's personality, maturity or the like. My personal feeling is it was a garden variety argument-and-ejection for a major league player. He wasn't bumping or spitting or anything. He may have been swearing, but c'mon -- that's run of the mill on a baseball diamond, whether anyone likes it or not. He's also still a teenager and has an intense personality. I'd think any scrutiny on Harper for this would be from a crowd with a pre-conceived notion of him.

Harper entered the game hitting .255/.314/.396 in 30 games for Double-A Harrisburg. He was pretty well crushing Low-A pitching before being promoted two levels.

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Posted on: August 9, 2011 6:34 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 9:22 pm

Strasburg to start Friday at Potomac

Stephen StrasburgBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Stephen Strasburg's second rehab start will come Friday at Class A Potomac in suburban Washington D.C., Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports.

Strasburg made his first start on Sunday in Hagerstown, Md., striking out four and allowing three hits in 1 2/3 innings. He'll face Myrtle Beach on Friday, the high Class A team for the Rangers. He is scheduled to throw three innings or 50 pitches. It'll also afford a possible Strasburg-Strausborger matchup against Pelicans outfielder Ryan Strausborger, who is hitting .270/.342/.427 with eight homers this season in Myrtle Beach.

Strasburg will then throw four innings and 60 pitches in his next start after Friday, manager Davey Johnson told reporters.

"We're just looking for him to build up arm strength, build up stamina," general manager Mike Rizzo told Kilgore. "We will monitor the recovery. That's what this is all about."

In anticipation of Strasmas, the Potomac Nationals announced Pfitzner Stadium will open at 5 p.m. for the 7:05 p.m. start and the first 2,000 fans will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win Strasburg's autographed jersey.

Potomac is in Woodbridge, Va., about 20 miles from Nationals Park. Strasburg skipped Potomac last season in his rise to the big leagues, as did top prospect Bryce Harper this season.

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 5:38 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 10:55 pm

Harper facing most scrutiny since ... Jackie?

By Matt Snyder

I don't doubt that Bryce Harper is facing pretty heavy hype and scrutiny as the game's top prospect makes his way through the minor leagues in the Nationals' system. He's reportedly faced lots of profanity and heckles from fans at nearly every stop. Unfortunatly, that's what comes with being a famous athlete these days. What is even more unfortunate is when a pair of his coaches decide to make a Jackie Robinson mention. From an upcoming story in Sports Illustrated:
Harper, a travel-baseball phenom out of Las Vegas at 10, an SI cover boy at 16 and a $9.9 million signee at 17, is the most well-known minor leaguer since Michael Jordan. But Jordan was a novelty, not a prospect. Harper is the most scrutinized prospect since....

"Jackie Robinson," says Tony Tarasco, a former major leaguer and a Nationals minor league coordinator who has become Harper's player-development Yoda. "You have to go back to Jackie Robinson to find anybody who goes through this much scrutiny. It wasn't like this for [Stephen] Strasburg. Wasn't like this for Alex Rodriguez."

Jackie Robinson? Surely Doug Harris, the Nationals' director of player development, with 21 years in pro ball as a player, scout and executive, would find a different comparable for Harper.

Independent of Tarasco, Harris offered, "This is really unfair and it's totally different, but if I can make a comparison to one guy that has been scrutinized like this, it would be Jackie Robinson. And it's unfair because it was a different standard. He was under a microscope in an era when we didn't have Internet, didn't have cellphones.

"Now, Jackie Robinson had his life threatened. I'm not comparing Bryce to that. But as far as nonstop scrutiny? Absolutely. Day to day."
I'm glad Harris qualified his statements and made sure to point out that what Harper faced and what Robinson faced are two completely different things, but that doesn't make the mention any less absurd. As 'Duk at Big League Stew pointed out, Strasburg faced tons of scrutiny and hype just last season.

What exactly is Harper hearing that draws the mention of a man who had to endure brutal racism, death threats and more day-in-day-out that few of us can even imagine?

"Some of the stuff I hear, I can't say," Harper said (from the above linked SI article). "It's bad stuff. I do hear stuff like 'moneymaker,' 'moneybags.' ... I get 'overrated' a lot -- that's just old. It comes with the territory, I guess. I'm not going to let it bother me."

I'll avoid getting sanctimonious or worked up here, so let's just bottom line it. That's nothing the overwhelming majority of major leaguers don't hear on a daily basis during road trips. Harper himself said it doesn't bother him.

This is not the stuff of Jackie Robinson. Let's leave his name alone in discussions like this.

UPDATE: Harris has followed up on the conversation with a mea culpa: "In talking to Tom[Verducci of Sports Illustrated], my sole intent was to speak to the scrutiny that Harper faces on a daily basis," Harris said. "That said, the hardships that Mr. Robinson endured in/around 1947 were unique and historical in context. While Harper's current situation is extraordinary by most measures, it pales in comparison to the life of Mr. Robinson, nor will it approach the lasting impact. I regret making this ill-fated correlation." (CSN Washington)

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com