Tag Archives: bryce harper

Bryce Harper might break the internet

“Dear Internet Friends, I give you Harper-cat.”

Those are eight words I thought I’d never hear, but I’m beyond glad I have now. The only problem I have with this video is that it isn’t 10 hours long. Get on it, internet friends.

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Bubba Starling another “once in a generation” talent.

Today’s MLB draft has been called one of the deepest draft classes in the last five years. It also features another “once in a lifetime” talent in Bubba Starling, a 6’5″, 193 boy wonder from a small town just south of Kansas City.

Starling’s lore is founded on 500-foot home runs, 395 yard rushing performances and roof-lifting dunks. Where those who have not seen him doubt his god-like talents, those who have are able to back-up the phenom’s generational talent.

[Read: ESPN profile on Bubba Starling. Definitely a must-read.]

Already committed to Nebraska to play quarterback, Starling will have to make a life-changing decision when he is drafted later today. Which way he is leaning remains unclear, though he has said he will be ready for practice in Lincoln when practice begins in late July.

The question is whether Starling truly is a “once in a generation” talent. The past two MLB draft’s have been host to two other generational talents, the National’s Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. It can be tough to justify three consecutive years of praise for top talent in the draft, so the superlatives laid on these three may only be justified when the trio have actually excelled in the majors. By then, there will likely be others who will have the generational tag bestowed upon them.

What they have at this point in their lives is promise. In the 46 years of the MLB draft, no number one pick has ever made it to Cooperstown.  Even if they are not labeled the “once in a generation” talent by the end of their careers, they will need to show their worth. They will need to prove their talents as they have done on the lower levels of competition they’ve excelled at.

While it is incredibly possible Starling, Harper and Strasburg will excel in the majors, it is also possible they can flame out. Strasburg’s first season was cut short by Tommy John surgery and his violent throwing motion has been called into question very early on.

We’ve also been warned to be wary of the generational superlative. Ryan Leaf  could never cut it in the NFL. Sam Bowie’s talent could not overcome his injuries. Kwame Brown was too young and inexperienced. Tony Mandarich cracked under the pressure.

The list goes on and on.

Things change when you play in different environments and there’s a reason to wary when Starling isn’t in Kansas anymore.

Whether Starling lives up to the hype in the bigs (or even opts to go the baseball route altogether) will take time to evaluate. For now, though, we should praise this mammoth talent from a small town south of Kansas City.

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Mr Strasburg goes to Washington.

Pic via RealClearSports.com

Strasmus has finally arrived in DC as the phenom pitcher will take the mound tonight against the Pirates. Much is expected out of the young ace after an impressive showing in AA and AAA minor league ball and the anticipation has reached a fever pitch, though the outcome will surely not be as bad as the movie.

What is expected out of Strasburg in the next few years is domination, although what should be expected is an upward sloping curve of excellence. Many fans expect Strasburg to come out and win every game, and while that would be nice, it is not realistic, especially with offensive and bullpen problems. Curt Schilling has said the young Nats pitcher will be the best pitcher in the league when he takes the mound tonight. Many hope this to be true as well, although it is also an unrealistic expectation. I have heard others say his chances of throwing a no-hitter are high, another ludicrous statement from people that have not even seen him play yet.

Becoming a great takes extensive development because the level of play in Major League Baseball is so high, unlike what Strasburg has faced at San Diego State and the minor league level. “I will have no great words of wisdom for [Stephen Strasburg]. I’ll just ask him how far home plate was from the pitching rubber at Syracuse, and he’ll say, ’60 feet, 6 inches,’ and I’ll say, ‘Great, because that’s how far it is here in the big leagues,” Jim Riggleman told Tim Kurkjian in anticipation of tonight’s game. And while Riggleman is correct about that, there are some major differences in the batters he will face, batters that have been playing at the major league level for years. It takes time to truly understand the complexities of pitching at the major league level. He has the tools and the big league pitches, but the development of Strasburg is a continuing project.

What Strasburg has a chance to do tonight is begin building his legacy. If he is to be the best pitcher in the league, the journey to the top starts tonight. It starts with consistency and it ends in domination. GM Mike Rizzo and the Nationals organization have done a good job easing him into the big leagues and all the waiting, watching, and wishing for a chance at success starts tonight. For such a young organization that has experienced very little success, the day Mr Strasburg comes to Washington is a monstrous step forward. After all the suffering of DC sports fan, today symbolizes a day in which an individual has a chance to help the city’s fan base out of the fetal position and into the winners circle.

At least, that’s all we can hope for right now.

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Filed under Washington Nationals