Living on the East Coast, I am used to the bias that perpetuates from the mega-media centers of New York, Boston, and Washington D.C.
As of publishing, Harper is batting .303 with 7 dingers and 19 RBI through 155 AB. To suggest that Harper is overrated might appear to be a fallacy, but it isn't. I will tell you.
In terms of Harper being overrated, I am referring to the infatuation the mainstream media has with Harper and his production as compared to the production of other ball players. Harper deserves media attention for his phenomenal hitting prowess, baserunning skills, and understanding of the game. He is a brilliant young player. I might even go as far to say that he is ahead of his time.
But then the performance of another rookie comes to mind.
Mike Trout, a rookie outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels, is batting .341 with 6 HR and 26 RBI through 170 AB. Trout has 16 SB as compared to Harper's 4. The drastic improvement for the Angels coincides not solely with Albert Pujols' slump-busting behavior but with the call-up with Trout as well.
The Angels have been 28-16 since Trout's call-up and are back in the thick of things in the AL West.
When one turns on what I deem the "Idiot Box," the television, one will be inundated with more Harper news than Trout news. This leads me to believe that Harper is overrated.
Who would you rather have as the keystone to your franchise?
Also, I am willing to suggest that more people would be clueless about the season's the like's of Chris Sale, Brandon Beachy, Edwin Encarnacion, Carlos Ruiz, and R.A. Dickey are having as compared to the season Harper is having. After all, Harper is garnishing more mainstream media attention than the aforementioned.
I am not disputing the honor that Harper deserves. After all, he should be in the All-Star Game. He will bring a lot of eyeballs to the flat-screen sets and his production deems him worthy.
On the other hand, has Harper really earned all of the Jesus Shuttlesworth-like attention he has been receiving?
The attention Harper is receiving is due to the fact that he plays on the East Coast. I do not doubt this one bit. If Harper and Trout were to swap jersey's, the same would go for Trout.
By stating that Harper is overrated, I am suggesting that his production is being overpraised or magnified to the degree where it is drowning out the spectacular years that guys like Trout, Sale, and Encarnacion are having.
Needless to say, a guy like Harper is good for baseball but the mainstream media needs to recognize that by sharing the praise with Trout, Sale, and company, maybe more people will become attuned to the transformation baseball is undertaking and come back to America's past time. Especially those that have left to never return following the strike of the early '90s.
Regardless, it is time to lift the veil on the East Coast bias and stop overpraising Harper. Show Mike Trout, Chris Sale, Brandon Beachy and fellows some love too.