Is Bryce Harper the best prospect ever? Or if you’re Andre 3000, forever, ever, ever, ever? Forever never seems that long until you’re grown, which Harper has not done yet. He’s like 13 years old. He had his last birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, the first MTV VJ Bryce remembers is Jesse Camp and he doesn’t even know what the M in MTV stands for (though neither do they). None of that matters. The kid may still have pimples, but he can hit. Last year, he had 14 homers and 19 steals in Single-A through 258 ABs and then 3 homers and 7 steals while only batting .256 in 129 Double-A ABs. He’s showing his mettle in the AFL though, and I think he’ll start the year in Triple-A, or get promoted to Triple-A after only a few weeks. No one knows when the Nats will bring him up to the bigs. I’m guessing some time after July 1st as the team starts to fade and they need to pull the ol’ “Hey, look at this new shiny toy” trick. Guess it’s better than the ol’ “Shine a flashlight on a wall” trick, unless you’re trying to get Pedroia to crash into a wall. Harper was signed by the Nats for $9.9 million (no word on how much of that goes for royalties to The Ultimate Warrior), and they want him to put asses in seats on Strasburg’s off days. So what can we expect from Bryce Harper for 2012 fantasy baseball?
I wouldn’t expect anything, Totes McGotes. I love Mike Trout this year, think he has the tools to have a huge year, but what did he do in 2011? Same will be true of Harper in 2012. In 2013, Bryce Harper will be someone who’s worth the hype, i.e., don’t believe the hype, wait for the sequel. In 2012, you’re going to see a player who shows flashes of brilliance, but is still a little raw. Could see him giving low-teen power and high-teen speed with a decent average, if he’s called up on July 1st. That’s pie-in-the-sky, an-ant-can’t-lift-a-rubber-tree-plant optimistic. More likely, you’re going to see someone who gets 5-7 homers and 10 steals with a few extended slumps. Will depend a lot on how well he makes adjustments. I’d give him 30/9/35/.270/14 in 250 at-bats. If you’re drafting Harper outside of keeper or deep NL-Only leagues, you might want to put some ice cubes down your pants and take two chill pills. And if chill pills were pulled off the market for whatever reason, do a zazen on your head.