Bryce Harper: Why The Nationals Star Minor Leaguer Is Not The Best Prospect Ever
Bryce Harper Looks Great In Single-A, But He Isn't Even The Best Prospect In Baseball Right Now
Two years ago, Bryce Harper was introduced to baseball fans everywhere with a cover story in Sports Illustrated in which he was proclaimed "Baseball's LeBron." There is no denying that Harper is a phenom, much like LeBron James was when he entered the NBA out of high school, and, at just 18 years of age, he is putting up fantastic numbers at low-A Harrisburg - .396/.472/.712.
But does this make him the best prospect EVER?
From Dave Cameron (via Fangraphs.com):
Instead of going to prom, Harper is putting himself in the conversation for best prospect in recent history. He can’t keep this pace up, but he doesn’t have to – even with some significant regression in his numbers, this is still going to go down as one of the best age-18 seasons we’ve ever seen. Harper is proving that he is worth every bit of the hype he’s ever received.
Harper wasn't even the consensus top prospect coming into the 2011 season - Mike Trout of the Angels had a lot of support from analysts like ESPN's Keith Law - and it seems silly to make such a bold statement after only 111 at-bats. (To be fair, Cameron does point out the small sample size in his article.)
There is a lot to like with Harper, his power his off the charts and he is a terrific athlete, and he may very well turn into one of the best baseball players of all-time. But you can't truly judge someone after only 111 at-bats in low-A, no matter how good they have been.
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