• Need More From Harper?

    Posted by on January 2nd, 2014 · Comments (23)

    From April 30th through season end last year, Bryce Harper had a BA/OBA/SLG line of .251/.350/.416 (in 394 PA).

    Granted, he was just 20-years old and playing in the majors. And, he was dealing with injuries. But, don’t we need to see more from him than that before we start comparing him with the Mike Trouts and Yasiel Puigs?

    Comments on Need More From Harper?

    1. Corey
      January 2nd, 2014 | 5:17 pm

      He rushed back from injury and never properly healed. He puts the Nationals struggles on his shoulders but just wasn’t ready to be that guy yet. Yada Yada. He’s going to be good. Don’t discount the first 44 games of the year last year when he was one of the best hitters in the game.

      Do I think he’ll be better than Trout? No. To say that he will be better is a foolish bet. Trout is maybe one of the best all around players we’ve seen since Jr. But, the potential is there. Not many reach their potential, though.

    2. January 2nd, 2014 | 8:01 pm

      2 years from now, we could be comparing him to Jason Heyward

    3. Evan3457
      January 3rd, 2014 | 12:13 am

      Harper may injure himself out of being a Hall of Famer. But if you do a search of all 20 year old major leaguers with 1000 career PA, this is what you find:

      Mel Ott, Tony Conigliaro, Ken Griffey, Mickey Mantle, Al Kaline, Phil Cavaretta, Ed Kranepool, Cesar Cedeno, Buddy Lewis, Robin Yount, Freddie Lindstrom, Edgar Renteria, Sibby Sisti, Sherry Magee, and Ty Cobb.

      Of those 16 players, Harper is 6th in OPS+ (behind only Cobb, Mantle, Ott, Conigliaro and Magee), and 3rd in WAR (behind only Ott and Cobb). 6 of them are in the Hall of Fame, Griffey will make it 7.

      For Harper to have accomplished what he has already accomplished at age 20 is remarkable, very, very rare. Trout might be even better and have a better career. Puig’s hyperaggressive style might well be undone by his much weaker command of the strike zone, but odds are he’ll be an excellent player for a long time, given his physical talents. But he’s nearly 2 years older than Harper, and that’s a huge difference on the typical developmental curve. Harper already has much better command of the zone and just as much, if not more raw power.

    4. Evan3457
      January 3rd, 2014 | 12:14 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      2 years from now, we could be comparing him to Jason Heyward

      Don’t write off Heyward yet, he’s only 23, and made significant strides in his own command of the strike zone last year. He’s 4-5 years from his presumable peak.

    5. Evan3457
      January 3rd, 2014 | 12:25 am

      Puig did a lot better with the K zone, at least in terms of taking a BB, after they stopped pitching to him. But Harper still has the long-term advantage.

    6. JeremyM
      January 4th, 2014 | 6:30 pm

      How does one go about getting one of these young players?

    7. Kamieniecki
      January 4th, 2014 | 8:26 pm

      JeremyM wrote:

      How does one go about getting one of these young players?

      A competent G.M. is a good place to start.

    8. Evan3457
      January 5th, 2014 | 1:10 am

      JeremyM wrote:

      How does one go about getting one of these young players?

      Well, you can win 59 games for two straight years so you get to draft Strasburg and Harper #1 in the draft two straight years.
      That’s one way to do it.

    9. Mr. October
      January 5th, 2014 | 9:42 am

      … Or you can win 90-95 games, lose an LDS in 4 games with a lineup of .200-.230 post-season hitters, and then draft a Wil Myers in the third round ahead of a Slade Heatchcott – that’s another way of doing it.

    10. Kamieniecki
      January 5th, 2014 | 10:49 am

      Mr. October wrote:

      … Or you can win 90-95 games, lose an LDS in 4 games with a lineup of .200-.230 post-season hitters, and draft a Wil Myers in the third round ahead of a Slade Heatchcott – that’s another way of doing it.

      and, if you’re Team Cashman, draft a Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth round of the same draft after picking a Myers ahead of Heathcott – assuming Heathcott is no longer available in the eighth round, of course…

    11. Evan3457
      January 5th, 2014 | 5:49 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      … Or you can win 90-95 games, lose an LDS in 4 games with a lineup of .200-.230 post-season hitters, and then draft a Wil Myers in the third round ahead of a Slade Heatchcott – that’s another way of doing it.

      Or you can be one of the 30 major league GMS that didn’t draft Myers in the first two rounds, including the GM that did draft him. Duh.

    12. Evan3457
      January 5th, 2014 | 5:54 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Mr. October wrote:
      … Or you can win 90-95 games, lose an LDS in 4 games with a lineup of .200-.230 post-season hitters, and draft a Wil Myers in the third round ahead of a Slade Heatchcott – that’s another way of doing it.
      … and, if you’re Team Cashman, draft a Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth round of the same draft after picking a Myers ahead of Heathcott – assuming Heathcott is no longer available in the eighth round, of course…

      Or you can be one of the 30 GMs who didn’t take Goldschmidt with any pick up to and including the 7th round and part of the 8th round. 245 picks in all, including 12 by the GM that drafted him, Josh Byrnes. So impressed was the owner and team president by this amazingly prescient pick of Goldschmidt that they fired Bynes about a year later.

    13. McMillan
      January 5th, 2014 | 6:47 pm

      I didn’t know a team had to have two straight 59-win seasons to sign Yasiel Puig – L.A. had 59 wins in both the 2011 and 2012 campaigns?

      … That would explain why Team Cashman didn’t have one of the most talented and exciting young players in the game in right field in 2013 and signed through 2018 for only $7 mil. per season (or one-third of Ellsbury’s annual salary) when it was trying to get its 2014 payroll below a $189 million luxury tax threshold, and instead had a 39-year old right fielder in 2013 and will have a 37-40 year-old outfielder patroling right field for $15 million per season through 2016.

    14. Evan3457
      January 5th, 2014 | 10:58 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      I didn’t know a team had to have two straight 59-win seasons to sign Yasiel Puig – L.A. had 59 wins in both the 2011 and 2012 campaigns?
      .
      … That would explain why Team Cashman didn’t have one of the most talented and exciting young players in the game in right field in 2013 and signed through 2018 for only $7 mil. per season (or one-third of Ellsbury’s annual salary) when it was trying to get its 2014 payroll below a $189 million luxury tax threshold, and instead had a 39-year old right fielder in 2013 and will have a 37-40 year-old outfielder patroling right field for $15 million per season through 2016.

      No. Past failed foreign free agent signings explain Hal’s restrictions in the possible bidding for Puig. However, that doesn’t explain why 28 other teams dropped out of the bidding for Puig, too. I believe nearly all of them could have use a $7 million a year Puig as well.

    15. Evan3457
      January 5th, 2014 | 11:01 pm

      Joel Sherman amplifies:

      Puig was going to work out for four days in Mexico City. Nothing beyond hitting and some running. No games. I contacted executives from 10 teams beyond the Dodgers, and each said their organization declined to sign Puig based on some combination of 1) too little information and too little time to gain more; 2) refusal to pay big dollars based just on workouts; 3) background checks that suggested Puig had a poor makeup; and 4) concerns that his body had thickened some already while not playing for a year.

      http://nypost.com/2013/06/16/dodgers-gambled-big-on-phenom-puig-based-on-just-one-bp-session/

    16. Kamieniecki
      January 6th, 2014 | 4:25 pm

      Past failed free agent signings such as a 5’10″ finesse pitcher from Japan Cashman flushed $46 million on. Puig, Myers, Goldschmidt, etc. are only a few examples of young players Team Cashman was not precluded from drafting or signing from 2005-13.

      And those 28 other team did not have the $46 million Team Cashman had to flush on an Igawa either…

    17. McMillan
      January 6th, 2014 | 5:10 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      … Josh Byrnes. So impressed was the owner and team president by this amazingly prescient pick of Goldschmidt that they fired Bynes about a year later.

      Josh Byrnes must not have gotten his job with the Arizona Diamondbacks through this father, and through very substantial and longtime personal and business relationship with ownership, and its family, like Brian “I’m Not Trying To Hurt The Team I’m Trying To Improve It” Cashman.

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Past failed free agent signings such as a 5’10″ finesse pitcher from Japan Cashman flushed $46 million on. Puig, Myers, Goldschmidt, etc. are only a few examples of young players Team Cashman was not precluded from drafting or signing from 2005-13.

      Why didn’t Team Cashman draft 2011 N.L. Rookie of the Year and three-time All-Star (and three-time N.L. Saves Leader) Craig Kimbrel before Atlanta did so in the 3rd round of the 2008 amateur draft at a time when Team Cashman’s closer was 39 years of age?

      Was this the idea of Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine, or Lonn Trost, too? And wasn’t 2011 the same year in which Rafael Soriano was signed to a three-year contract?

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      And those 28 other team did not have the $46 million Team Cashman had to flush on an Igawa either…

      … or a Pavano, or a Clemens, or a Johnson, or a Burnett… or a Puig.

    18. Mr. October
      January 6th, 2014 | 5:55 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Why didn’t Team Cashman draft 2011 N.L. Rookie of the Year and three-time All-Star (and three-time N.L. Saves Leader) Craig Kimbrel before Atlanta did so in the 3rd round of the 2008 amateur draft at a time when Team Cashman’s closer was 39 years of age?
      Was this the idea of Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine, or Lonn Trost, too? And wasn’t 2011 the same year in which Rafael Soriano was signed to a three-year contract?

      “Hal, Hank, Trost and Levine would never permit that.” It’s the “corporate/organizational philosophy or business plan” of “the team’s owner and senior management” to draft players that suck, or so we’re told by some.

    19. Evan3457
      January 6th, 2014 | 6:37 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Past failed free agent signings such as a 5’10″ finesse pitcher from Japan Cashman flushed $46 million on. Puig, Myers, Goldschmidt, etc. are only a few examples of young players Team Cashman was not precluded from drafting or signing from 2005-13.
      And those 28 other team did not have the $46 million Team Cashman had to flush on an Igawa either…

      No, he WAS excluded from signing Puig because of past failed foreign free agent signings. That’s the point.

    20. Evan3457
      January 6th, 2014 | 6:45 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Josh Byrnes must not have gotten his job with the Arizona Diamondbacks through this father, and through very substantial and longtime personal and business relationship with ownership, and its family, like Brian “I’m Not Trying To Hurt The Team I’m Trying To Improve It” Cashman.

      Completely irrelevant to the point. Just more of the same from you, Sybil.

      Why didn’t Team Cashman draft 2011 N.L. Rookie of the Year and three-time All-Star (and three-time N.L. Saves Leader) Craig Kimbrel before Atlanta did so in the 3rd round of the 2008 amateur draft at a time when Team Cashman’s closer was 39 years of age?

      Why didn’t the other 28 teams? Why didn’t Atlanta pick him in the 1st or 2nd round? The Braves picked 3 other pitchers before Kimbrel. None of the 3 have accomplished anything much, either in the majors or the minors. One was one of 5 players traded for Justin Upton and Chris Johnson. He made it to the majors this season, and did nothing there, after doing little in the minors before that.

      Was this the idea of Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine, or Lonn Trost, too? And wasn’t 2011 the same year in which Rafael Soriano was signed to a three-year contract?

      No, but the idea of cost-justifying all foreign free-agent signings before the money would be allocated for them comes from Hal. Without any real ability to scout him in games, the expense for Puig could not have been cost-justified under that system.
      Kamieniecki wrote:
      And those 28 other team did not have the $46 million Team Cashman had to flush on an Igawa either…
      … or a Pavano, or a Clemens, or a Johnson, or a Burnett… or a Puig.

    21. Evan3457
      January 6th, 2014 | 6:47 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      “Hal, Hank, Trost and Levine would never permit that.” It’s the “corporate/organizational philosophy or business plan” of “the team’s owner and senior management” to draft players that suck, or so we’re told by some.

      No, you haven’t.

      I’ve never claimed Hal, Hank, Trost or Levine had any responsibility for the Rule 4 draft.

    22. Kamieniecki
      January 6th, 2014 | 9:13 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      “Hal, Hank, Trost and Levine would never permit that.” It’s the “corporate/organizational philosophy or business plan” of “the team’s owner and senior management” to draft players that suck…

      Amateur drafts, barren farm systems, failed international or free agent signings, .490 postseason winning percentages, women from the U.K… it’s always the same story: Cashman’s bad luck…

      Dante Bichette Jr., Cito Culver, Eric Duncan, John-Ford Griffin, Jon S. Skaggs, David Parrish, David Walling, C.J. Henry, Andrew Brackman, etc.? Bad luck.

      … from 2004-07, it wasn’t the starting pitching that was the problem, or nos. 1-3 starters with a cumulative postseason E.R.A. of 5.65 (the cum. 1995-2013 A.L. postseason E.R.A. for nos. 1-6 starters of winning teams was approx. 3.87, and for losing teams approx. 4.99) – it was bad luck when runners were in scoring position in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.

      … and from 2010-12, after George Steinbrenner spent $243.5 million on starting pitching in the 2008-09 offseason, it wasn’t the .200-.230-postseason hitting players at catcher, first base, and almost every position that were the problem, it was, once again, bad luck with RISP in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

    23. McMillan
      January 6th, 2014 | 9:35 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Andrew Brackman

      Cashman’s first round pick in the 2007 draft ahead of Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson, who finished fourth in A.L. M.V.P. voting in 2013, among others…

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The draft is a crapshoot, just like the playoffs… What happened with Brien Taylor? Oops… And if the Yanks hit .300 in the playoffs with RISP in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, they wouldv’e won more series… Prove to me that it was the pitching, and not the hitting, that was the problem… Prove it! Or admit defeat…

      @ Kamieniecki:
      You can’t argue with that “logic.”

      @ Evan3457:
      When are the 2014 “back-of-the-envelope” New York Yankee Offense and General 2014 Season projections coming out this year? You did such a great job with the numbers last year that we’re all looking forward with much anticipation to the 2014 posting.

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