Wednesday, June 24, 2009

KLaw on Bryce Harper

It's buried behind the Insider moat, but here's a snippet of Keith's take on the Baseball Jesus:

Bryce Harper is good at just about everything and bad at just about nothing. He can hit, throw, field and run. And power? He's got it in spades.

Harper's best asset as a hitter is his strength; not muscle or bulk but hand and wrist strength, so that when he makes contact the ball takes off with uncanny power for someone his age. He launches balls in batting practice out to right and right-center and can drive the ball easily to the left-center wall. He's still wiry but has plenty of room to fill out and eventually make his listed weight -- a heavy 205 pounds -- a reality. He loads with his hands well behind his back shoulder, so he nearly bars out his front arm, adding some length to the swing. But he strides into the ball and rotates his hips well with his swing and has good hand-eye coordination, so the result is a lot of contact and the big raw power for which he's become known. He's an above-average runner now and should settle in as at least average even if he fills out completely.
There won't likely be another player in the 2010 draft class who can match Harper's combination of present talent and tremendous upside, especially not among position players in the draft pool. If Harper reaches his ceiling, and stays behind the plate, he could be a Joe Mauer type, hitting for average and power while providing plus defense at a critical and hard-to-fill position.
In other words, Bryce Harper is the greatest thing since Matt Wieters invented sliced bread.

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