One very interesting service provided by Baseball Prospectus’ projection PECOTA is player comps. A list of names thrown together based on age, position, etc. Equal parts disheartening and wish-casting, the comps either confound or excite.
It was a season for the ages – not many players ever manage 5 fWAR years, Harper did it at 19. A season which was somewhat lost behind the once-in-a-lifetime exploits of 20-year old Mike Trout.
While Harper broke records and established new bench marks, Mike Trout put together one of the best years of anyone ever – rookie or otherwise. Trout and Harper are inexorably linked in baseball lore, now and forever. The Jersey kid and the Vegas-raised phenom, groomed for greatness his entire life.
Baseball Prospectus sees it this way, as well. Who is the number comparable player for Bryce Harper as he enters his age-20 season, accoriding to PECOTA? Mike Trout, of course.
In part two of what is sure to be at least a two part series, the curious eye of Getting Blanked looks at the projections for young studs from around the baseball world. Today, Bryce Harper.
Keith Law released his top 25 under 25 ranking today for ESPN Insiders. Always an interesting exercise, Law place Mike Trout at the top and Bryce Harper second. This should come as no surprise, as Mike Trout is your father now. Bryce Harper might be tougher to take for some fans, as the NL Rookie of the Year looked good in 2012 but didn’t break records and faces like his AL counterpart.
Law points to Harper’s midseason struggles, where pitchers adjusted to his strengths and sent the Nats outfielder into a prolonged slump. Calls to platoon Harper came quietly, as the Nats battled for a playoff spot. Luckily, Washington was far enough ahead that Harper got to keep playing – and adjust.
And adjust Harper did, turning his season around and bringing his yearly stats up to respectability. Harper finished with a .352 wOBA, with 22 home runs and 18 steals as a 19-year old. The question we ask the projection systems: what will he do for an encore?
To the surprise of very few, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper began their inevitable march towards Bird/Magic marriage of marketing by netting Rookie of the Year awards. Trout sweeps the vote with his season for the ages while Bryce Harper posted one of the finest seasons for a teenager in baseball history, edging Arizona starter Wade Miley to take the NL ROY crown.
Not a bad twosome to pull your brand wagon for the next fifteen years, MLB.
On today’s Getting Blanked Show, we recommit to awesomeness, discuss Bryce Harper’s two home run night and subsequent temper tantrum, Pedro Alvarez’s dominance of the St. Louis Cardinals and other stuff that might just change your life if you watch or listen to it.
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The Washington Nationals are a very good baseball team. This simple fact has been overshadowed to a degree this season by the controversy over Stephen Strasburg’s innings limit, the emergence of Bryce Harper as an everyday player (whether he deserves that distinction or not) and even the wrist injury suffered by Jayson Werth earlier in the season. While we might look at the standings and laugh a little bit at the Baltimore Orioles’ run differential or the Oakland Athletics’ paltry offense, there are no fluke factors associated with the Washington Nationals.
They’re legit. One might even be of the mind that they’re too legit to quit.
You can’t spell TGIF without GIF. Now excuse me while I go punch myself repeatedly in the dick for dropping a TGIF. It is GIF day here at Getting Blanked, and we lead this instalment with a single pitch that serves as a fairly accurate representation of Barry Zito’s career.
Due to increasing feedback from readers on some troubles their browsers have had loading 12 GIFs at a time, we’ll be making an effort to keep the number of images below ten. The exception stays in the picture, though. Giddy up!