Sure, you’ve probably heard a ton about Bryce Harper’s success and abilities, but what’s wrong with hearing more? After all, despite his success, he’s not playing the majors yet, so we can only speculate. Luckily, there are people who get paid for that sort of stuff. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus has an article today covering the latest scouting report on the phenom.
The article is only accessable to those who’ve paid, and you can only read through the first section. Here are some highlights from the article. For more details, you’ll have to help pay Mr. Goldstein’s salary:
Hitting – Harper hits well, but he probably isn’t going to be a .330 hitter. The good news is that Goldstein seems to indicate that some of the chatter of his strikeouts being high are overblown. He calls his K rate promising for his age
Power – Top of the charts. He mentions that evaluation is basically universal among scouts, and the last person to have such reviews was Alex Rodriguez. He also mentions that ARod was drafted before Harper turned 1 years old, which makes Harper seem young, ARod seem old, and me FEEL old.
Glove – Also gets above average marks here. Harper has taken to the OF well, Goldstein essentially says that the Nats made the right move to advance him to the majors faster, get him the most possible ABs, and lower his injury risk.
Arm – Very high marks here, his arm is his second best tool according to Goldstein.
Speed – His speed isn’t his biggest asset, and Goldstein mentions that Harper is already a big boy. If he fills out to 250 lbs by the time he’s in his mid-20s, he could slow down considerably, which could have a few effects. It could lower his average by reducing his ability to leg out his, it could reserve him even only to first base, but it could also give him a bit more power. Hard to tell yet until we see how big he gets
Makeup – Goldstein talks about the maturity and the arrogance, just like everyone else. My personal take is that it won’t matter that much. Baseball is weird that way, you don’t have to be a cohesive unit and play together, so you don’t have to like everyone on the team. But you are also so dependent on the success of others, you just can’t win by yourself. Arrogance and immaturity won’t alone make him impossible to play with, even if he doesn’t outgrow it. I think quite a few player, like the aforementioned ARod, haven’t been the best clubhouse personalities, but still ended up doing just fine and winning quite a few games.
It’s another great scouting report for Harper, and Goldstein raved at the end about the company he’d be in if he got called up in 2012, and how he’s likely to deserve that callup anyway.