"Don't Believe The Hype" Baseball's Hype Machine Is Out of Control

Cyril QuinnContributor IJune 6, 2009

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Matt Wieters #15 of the Baltimore Orioles poses during photo day at the Orioles spring training complex on February 23, 2009 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

This week's issue of Sports Illustrated featured Bryce Harper who has been called baseball's chosen one. When reading this article I did not know whether or not it was describing a possible future star or a Jedi Knight, I was waiting for Tom Verducci to tell me that Harper also walks on water.

This of course is nothing new for Sports Illustrated, every so often they annoit an athlete as being the next Mr. Everything, sometimes they get it right LeBron James and sometimes they get it wrong with Todd Marinovich.

I do not know where Harper will fit into this equation. The percentages say somewhere in the middle.

Harper is not alone in terms of being next big thing. Stephen Strasburg and Matt Wieters complete the triad. Wieters is Baltimore's prized catcher who was recently called up, some scouts have said he is Joe Mauer with power.

Yes, the same Joe Mauer who currently has a career .323 avg and is considered to be one of the best hitters in the American League if not in all of baseball. In just 32 games this season Mauer is hitting .430 with 12 home runs and 35 RBI. We should slow down on that comparison.

I have questions on just how good Wieters will be, I know 23 is not old by any means, but for such a hyped prospect it is, by 21 Alex Rodriguez was winning batting titles. Mauer was also 21 when he was first called up and he produced immediately.

Next week the Washington Nationals are expected to make Stephen Strasburg their No. 1 overall pick in the draft. His fastball has been clocked at over 100 MPH. Strasburg recently drew the comparsion with another flame thrower who was drafted 20 years ago. Ben McDonald like Strasburg was considered to be too good to be true. McDonald never lived up to the expectations and had a modest career at best going 78-70 in nine seasons.

What one has to realize about No. 1 picks, especially pitchers, is that for every Ken Griffey or Alex Rodriguez there are about 10 Danny Goodwins and Al Chambers of the world.

I know what you are thinking if your not a baseball fanatic, who are they, my point exactly.