FanDuel - WFBC

May 19, 2011

Bryce Harper Won't Make Majors This Year: Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper won't be called up to the major leagues this year, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Wednesday. "He's got to learn the nuances of the game of baseball. We certainly don't want him to push him to a level where he's overmatched and struggles even for a short period of time," he said. Harper, the first overall pick in the 2011 baseball draft, is hitting .366 with 9 home runs and 31 RBI in 37 games with the Class A Hagerstown Suns.

posted by rcade to baseball at 02:30 PM - 10 comments

Note to Rizzo: Harper will struggle in the majors sometimes no matter how long you wait. Everyone does. He will also sometimes be over matched. That's the reality of professional baseball.

posted by bperk at 02:43 PM on May 19

To be fair, he might be only the third-best guy named Bryce in the South Atlantic League.

posted by Mookieproof at 02:46 PM on May 19

Bryce Harper is tearing it up, but he is also only tearing it up in Class A. He still has to make it a few more rungs up the ladder. I think Rizzo is reasonable in saying he won't make the majors this year.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:49 PM on May 19

To be fair, he might be only the third-best guy named Bryce in the South Atlantic League.

To be fair, he is 4 years and 6 years younger than the other two guys and has a higher OPS than both. Pretty impressive.

Rizzo's statement seems to be one of those "baseball old hand"-type of statements that a big league call-up has to be earned, and that earning that means putting in your time riding a bus as opposed to simply getting it done to great effect on the field. I bet Harper could put up at least a .250/.325/.450 line right now in the bigs, which would make him the fourth or fifth best hitter on the team (based on current performance; Jayson Werth surely can't be this bad all year).

posted by holden at 03:53 PM on May 19

To be fair, he's in Single A ball now facing Single A pitching. Let him at least move up to Double A before he's crowned the next Mickey Mantle. Washington could be a little hesitant since the next Cy Young became the latest Tommy John last year.

posted by graymatters at 04:02 PM on May 19

He has the highest OPS in the league and he's still 18. Might be ok to push him up a rung.

posted by yerfatma at 04:07 PM on May 19

It seems hasty to close the door on a September callup. I don't think Rizzo is worried about Harper paying his dues. I think he's worried he'll flounder at the Major League level if he's called up too early and it will set back his development.

posted by rcade at 04:08 PM on May 19

I think Rizzo is thinking that the Nats are going to suck for the next few years (if not longer) and let's not start the kid's arbitration clock ticking just yet.

posted by holden at 04:22 PM on May 19

Bingo. But that window's passed now, right? Didn't Tampa always call their big prospects up in late May or something because it has to be service time from April on or something?

posted by yerfatma at 05:20 PM on May 19

Correct -- but they may be holding off on calling him up until June 2012.

posted by holden at 05:35 PM on May 19

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