Overall, I think most Washington Nationals’ fans are pleased with how Bryce Harper preformed in 2011.
The nation’s No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2010 MLB draft played well with the Class A Hagerstown Suns, batting .318-14-46 before being promoted to Double A Harrisburg Senators, where the 18-year-old batted .256/.329/.395, with three home runs, before a minor injury ended his season early.
A month into the Arizona Fall League—facing much better competition than either previous stop—Harper is batting .290-5-20 in 16 games.
So while the numbers don’t jump out at you, they are certainly acceptable and show glimpses of greatness.
But, if you were to add up all the numbers from all the leagues and extend them out to a full 162 game major league season, you would get somewhere around 580 at-bats. What would his statistics look like then?
Much different. Here are how Harper’s stats would look based playing a full 162-game season:
Home Runs: 29
Runs Batted In: 101
Stolen Bases: 37
Batting Average: .296
On-Base Percentage: .389
Slugging Percent: .505
Now those are the numbers you’d expect from Bryce Harper?
I guess I have Bryce Harper disease, like so many others. If he isn’t hitting three or four home runs a day, he must be doing something wrong and won’t become that superstar that he seemed ticketed to become.
But really, the Nationals don’t have an Albert Pujols type of offensive power from Harper. There are enough quality hitters on the Nationals' roster now that if he just becomes another J.D. Drew, a guy who hits .285-30-100, he’ll be just what the team needs.
My guess is he makes it to Washington before next season's official September call-up date so he can participate in the playoffs if the team makes that far.
I can’t believe I’m evening thinking that.