Bryce Harper, the MLB Draft and the Future of Baseball

Tom FroemmingCorrespondent IJune 8, 2011

Baseball is a game that is resistant to change, but the game can't help society evolving around it.

The Internet and establishment of social media has effectively shrunk the world. For baseball, this means it has to deal with new headaches.

Tuesday night, 18-year-old slugging sensation Bryce Harper, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft, crushed his 14th home run of the season.

Great story, right?

Well, after the ball flew from his bat like a torpedo, Harper stood in the batter's box admiring it. He added in a bat flip for added effect before starting his well-practiced home run trot.

Just a kid having some fun, right?

Well...on his way from third base to the plate, Harper blew a kiss to the opposing pitcher, who must have been viably shaken at the fact he was being shown up so blatantly. Never saw the Bambino do that.

That's just downright bad for baseball, right?


Like it or not, Harper's antics are good for baseball, at least for now while he's at Class-A Hagerstown. This kid is going to be the game's biggest draw whenever he makes it to the majors. So what if the crowds are showing up to "boo" and hope to see him fall?

Harper is baseball's villain, and it's today's media culture that has made it so. Just 10, heck even five years ago this incident would possibly not even have been reported.

Today, there is so much content online on minor league baseball and prospects that fans are getting a better chance to follow players from the very beginning of their professional careers, and I believe the evolution of MLB Draft coverage has a lot to do with that.

Baseball may not like change, but the new potential for fans to follow their favorite prospects at each level, from the draft to the majors and every step up the ladder in between, is a great thing for the game.