Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Behold! The Baseball Jesus!

Feast your pedestrian eyes upon the Baseball Jesus:

So good and so young is Bryce Harper, however, that he explodes baseball convention. He has hit the longest home run in the history of Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, and he did so in January, at age 16, with a blast that would have flown farther than the measured 502 feet had it not smashed off the back wall of the dome. Still only 16, Harper stands 6'3", weighs 205 pounds, has faster bat speed than Mark McGwire in his prime and runs so fast that he scored on wild pitches six times this season from second base. As a catcher he picks off runners from his knees, and when he pitches, he throws a fastball that has been clocked at 96 mph. He also does volunteer work, holds down a 3.5 grade point average and attends religious education classes nearly every morning before school.
Stephen Strasburg's time is coming soon, but this kid's hype machine might be crankin' even higher.

Boras probably tilted back in his throne and howled. (Boras is one of his advisors, by the way)

So what and where does the Baseball Jesus want to play:
When asked about his goals as a ballplayer, he replies, "Be in the Hall of Fame, definitely. Play in Yankee Stadium. Play in the pinstripes. Be considered the greatest baseball player who ever lived. I can't wait."
Boras just kicked his feet up on the desk, grinning ever so slightly. Thy name is leverage.

4 comments:

Carl the Big Fool said...

Be careful what you wish for--being eligible for next years draft may mean getting drafted by the Nats. :o]

dimtrios said...

yes he accomplished a lot playing in High School to pitchers that don't want to throw to him anymore. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but High School is a lot different than college ball which is orders of magnitude different than MLB.

When was the last time someone as young as 18 or 19 started in the major leagues that wasn't a pitcher.

Even saying all that if he lives up to half his hype he will be fun to watch. Lets hope he doesn't Doc Gooden his career.

dimitrios said...

Well, i read the article and breathless praise by SI aside there might be something to this kid.

Does he lose antyhing by skipping college ball and trying his hand in the majors right away?

Dan Whitney said...

One thing that I have yet to see mentioned in the articles I've read about Harper is the amazing new technology of aluminum bats. I know that he plays in wood-bat leagues too, but to say he's hit the longest HR in the Trop history, that he hits it 570, might be a little misleading. Aluminum bats are so much more advanced today than even five or ten years ago. I played in a Sunday afternoon beer league last summer and a teammate offered me to use his new $350+ bat. I hit an opposite field homerun that made people stand up, and I'm not an especially gifted athlete, not inordinately strong, and I hadn't played since little league. I didn't even play high school ball, I was a hockey player.

I think to ignore the advancements in bats allows Verducci, et al, to claim that Bryce Harper is potentially the most prodigious power hitting prospect of all time, when realistically Junior or even Justin Upton had the same bat, the same might have been said about them.