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Bryce Harper: Hold off on Future Stud in Fantasy Baseball for Now

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVApril 29, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29:  Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals takes batting practice before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 29, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper is the future face of the MLB and will be one of the league's premier hitters for the entirety of his career, but he's not yet worth the risk in your fantasy baseball league. 

For starters, Harper is just 19 years old. He's too young to be making any damage on the stat sheet in a reliable fashion. 

Despite being the No. 1 pick in the 2010 MLB draft, he won't be able to have an immediate impact in baseball like he could in nearly any other sport. Developing is a part of joining the majors for every player, and even the best ones require a couple of years to become great young players. Harper will be able to add some time to his career considering he got in to the system early.

The Nationals were short at outfield and in a power hitting position with Ryan Zimmerman heading to the disabled list with a shoulder injury, which is the position Harper was called up for.

Zimmerman spoke about his injury to the Washington Post and said there was no structural damage to his shoulder. He also said his stay on the DL will be short and that some anti-inflammatory shots will help him to return soon after the May 6 deadline. 

There has to be a huge area of need for a team to throw in a young rookie right off the bat and expect him to stay long term. The Nationals don't have that in the outfield.

There's a bit of fidgeting that goes along with developing young players, and that's what Harper will be experiencing in his rookie season with the Nationals. He may come up for a series or two, then head back down to AAA and repeat the process multiple times throughout the season.

He won't be in the majors long enough at most durations for him to become an effective part of a fantasy team. The only way he would conceivably be useful is if you were to pick him up right as he's called up and drop him. Simply said, you would have to already be a big waiver-wire pusher.

Like I said earlier, Harper will become an integral part of the Nationals offense and become a poster boy for the league eventually. But, the key word is eventually and that's the word that should keep you from adding him to your fantasy baseball roster. 

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