Alex Brandon/Associated Press
Washington Nationals phenom left fielder Bryce Harper was recently voted by players as the most overrated player in Major League Baseball.
Fans think he's cocky. Other players just don't think he's that good.
All of the above are, for the most part, wrong.
Harper's big league success has been almost entirely overshadowed by the emergence of Mike Trout, who entered the league around the same time and turned in two of the best seasons ever—not by a rookie, not by a player under the age of 23, but two of the best seasons ever, period.
Harper, who came in with even more hype, batted at least .270 and belted at least 20 home runs in each of his first two seasons. And for those of you who like advanced metrics, his 5.0 WAR as a rookie is borderline superstar status.
This year, he's battling through injuries and hasn't had much of a chance to show off what he's got yet, but as soon as he's back on the field, expect a breakout year. And remember, he's only 21 years old.
Harper works hard. He has no off-field drama. The biggest issue he's had in Washington was getting called out for not hustling during a game, more a sign of his youth and immaturity than his character.
He's a great ballplayer and a great kid and has never done anything to earn a negative reputation as a ballplayer or a man.
Five years from now, the kid's going to have a great resume and an even better reputation, and fans and ballplayers alike will realize they never had any reason to doubt that.