Bryce Harper: Baseball's "Chosen One"

Sam AlmassianContributor IJune 18, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 7:  Frank Marcos (R), Director of the Scouting Bureau, and Roy Krasik (Center-R), Senior Director of Major League Baseball Operations, and other individuals conduct the Major League Baseball draft on June 7, 2005 at the Major League Baseball offices in New York City. The draft was conducted via conference call.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)


The 2009 draft has just ended and some are already looking at next year's Major League Baseball Draft.  

Word has been circulating around the media outlets about a baseball player that has been called the LeBron James of baseball. He is a catcher, pitcher, and third basemen.

His name is Bryce Harper and did I mention that he is only 16? He is the first player in baseball history to be named to the All-American team in his sophomore year by Baseball America.

In 2009, he had a .626 batting average to go along with 14 home runs and 55 RBI. He is the presumable 2010 No. 1 pick. He recently hit a tape measure shot of 570 feet reported by Sports Illustrated Magazine that went over "the right field fence, two trees, another fence, a sidewalk, five lanes of traffic on elevated South Hollywood Boulevard and yet another sidewalk, until it finally landed in the brown, undeveloped desert."  He also launched a baseball 502 feet at the Power Showcase at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Fla. which is on record as the longest home run to ever be hit in that park.

Now for what some people are calling the downside to this story. Due to his amazing talent, Harper's parents are allowing him to forgo his junior and senior years of high school so he can get is GED at the College of Southern Nevada.

By doing this, he would achieve his GED by the fall which would make him eligible for the 2010 Major League draft. Many sports professionals think this is a bad idea because he is too young to deal with the world of minor league baseball and think he will be corrupted since he is still very young.

In all honesty though, are you really ready for the pressures of real life at 18 more so than at 16? People are saying Harper should stay in school to be like a normal kid his age, but the fact of the matter is that "normal" went out the window once he and his family realized his talent.  

In a world where basketball players such as James are being scouted as early as sixth grade, what is the problem with choosing your career at a young age. Some people choose to be doctors or lawyers.

Harper chose baseball.

You don't get to his status without dedicating your life to the game. Parents around the world are not going to want to hear that it is alright to skip the end of your high school education, but when was the last time any decent job required only a high school diploma?

So from this baseball lover, I can't see a problem with someone deciding what career path they want to follow, and yes, professional athlete is still a career.

What do you think?