Bryce Harper is the most interesting man in baseball, and he hasn’t yet made his Major League debut.
Even though most fans haven’t seen Harper actually play, the intrigue and interest that follows him is unprecedented in baseball history.
He is the sport’s new Barry Bonds, a preternaturally gifted athlete with a perpetual chip on his shoulder.
He is an infinitely talented A.J. Pierzynski, an instigator with a knack for rubbing people the wrong way.
Depending on who you talk to, he is either the best player to come along in twenty years, or an example of everything that is wrong with professional sports.
Harper is so interesting, and so divisive, because he reminds us of phenoms who have come before him, players whose careers sometimes panned out and sometimes didn’t, but who were never boring.
Here are nine players that Harper compares to. Some of them are current superstars; others have seen their best days pass them by. But they all had the knack for drawing attention that Harper so clearly possesses.