The kid is 19 years old. Most kids his age such as myself are struggling with their second year of college. However, most kids his age are not playing minor league baseball. Being labeled as the "Lebron James of Baseball," Bryce Harper is expected to have a long and very successful career, if he stays healthy.
With the best start in franchise history, the Nationals (14-5) are sitting comfortably but attentively in first place of the NL East at 2.0 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves. This success comes as no surprise when you look at the current depth chart. There are All-Star caliber players at almost every position, including the phenomenal starting rotation featuring Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg to name a few.
But pitching alone cannot put runs on the board. That can only be done by a mix of powerful and precise hitting, which the Nationals seem to have mastered so far this season. However, recently the Nationals line-up took a grave blow when third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was put on the 15 day disabled list with what is being called "right shoulder inflammation". With a big left-handed hole to fill, skipper Davey Johnson opted to bring up Bryce Harper. Harper is scheduled to make his debut this Saturday in Los Angeles. Although not a permanent replacement, Harper will provide that power that the Nationals need to maintain their spot on the top of the standings.
Regardless of his young age, the Nationals feel that Harper is mature enough to step-up and play a vital role until Zimmerman is cleared to play again. However, some fans are skeptical about Johnson's decision to bring Harper up. They think that it is too soon and that he is not yet ready to play with the big dogs. Posting a .250 batting average with 18 hits in 72 at bats so far this season, there is evidence to back up the claim that he is not ready. On the other hand, having a .333 on base percentage and a .375 slugging average, Johnson seemed content enough with Harper's progress to give him a shot to prove himself.
Having a little wiggle-room at this point in the season, why not play around a little bit? We should give Harper a chance to prove to the world that he really was worth all of that money, and that he could indeed be the future of baseball in Washington. That is, until Zimmerman is healthy. A silver slugging, gold glove Winning All-Star vs. first year rookie. Not too much argument there.
But if you are like me, and have been craving a winning team in Washington, it does not make any difference what they decide to do. As long as the W's continue, I can't complain.Back to the Washington Nationals Newsfeed