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Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez talk while watching the Nationals beat the Giants on the Fourth of July.
Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg were both picked by the Nationals with the first pick of the MLB draft. And both have had success.
Harper is hitting .283 with eight homers and 23 RBI, and he's the youngest position player to play in an All-Star game. Strasburg is 9-4 with a 2.82 ERA, and even though he's lost three straight starts, he has pitched very well throughout the season. Strasburg leads the team with 128 strikeouts and a 1.10 WHIP.
And Gio Gonzalez? He's probably been the best out of everyone on the team.
The star southpaw has 12 wins, which is tied for the MLB lead, and a 2.92 ERA. Gonzalez's curveball is one of the best pitches in the league, and just like Strasburg, Gonzalez knows how to strike guys out. In 101.2 innings pitched, Gonzalez has 118 strikeouts.
All three have been great, but they will all have to keep up their success. Bryce Harper is only going to get better, but it's possible that he struggles in the second half. Strasburg's three consecutive losses is not a good sign, and even though Gonzalez has won four straight starts, he could slump.
However, I don't think any of them will slump. Gonzalez and Strasburg are strikeout machines, and opponents are hitting .192 against Gonzalez and .225 against Strasburg. Both are a lot better and more consistent than they were a year ago, and I think they will continue their success during the second half.
As for Harper, he won't slow down. He has figured out major league pitching, and he knows how to get good wood on the ball. Harper is great at defense, and he brings a lot of energy into the game. I doubt he will slow down—especially when his team needs him most.