Sunday, October 16, 2011
Washington National's phenom Bryce Harper: is he ready?
Playing in 6 games so far in the Arizona Fall League, Nationals prospect Bryce Harper has a .160 OBP, .247 OPS, and 3.83 PAPP. He has yet to get on base against a left handed pitcher (in a small sample of course), and has just one RBI. Many National fans (and baseball fans in general) want/expect him to be in the Majors some time next year. Is he ready? According to the small sample in the AFL, the answer is clearly no. What about his minor league numbers? He started 2011 in A-ball and put up some good numbers, .423 OBP, .977 OPS, .236 ISO, and 1.78 PPG. However, he was also the beneficiary of a .372 BABIP, a pretty unrealistic number. As he moved to AA that luck changed slightly, as he had a .294 BABIP. His numbers weren't impressive either, .329 OBP, .140 ISO, .724 OPS, .97 PPG, and just .5 Runs over the average player. In the outfield, he hasn't fielded very well, with a minor league fielding percentage of .961. In College (Southern Nevada), Harper had a .526 OBP and .987 Slugging, with a 3.74 PPG. He is obviously and clearly an awesome player offensively, although the .980 fielding percentage in college is concerning. I don't think anyone is disputing whether he is a golden prospect with the numbers and track record to be a great player in the Majors. However, you want to see his numbers in the AFL and AA to improve, as well as his defense. He still has a way to go before he is ready to be in the big leagues, but don't worry, there is no reason to suggest he won't get there and be awesome eventually.