Note: Mike’s on his honeymoon until September 28! Enjoy this auto-published post and help pray that some giant breaking news didn’t drop minutes before this fun yet otherwise fluffy post went up.
A little over four months ago, Bryce Harper made his MLB debut at age 19, far sooner than anyone expected, playing against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Thanks to this video from Baseball Prospectus, you can see his first hit, a double off Chad Billingsley:
Since then, Harper’s had some ups and downs around a prolonged slump, but he’s still going to end his season in the bigs as a better-than-league-average hitter and probably 20 homers.
Since World War II, only three other players managed to get as much playing time as Harper has in their age-19 season. Two of them – Al Kaline & Robin Yount – ended up in Cooperstown, and the third, Rusty Staub, may have joined them if not for injuries, but still had a long and productive career. None of them had anything like the debut season Harper has had.
Love him or hate him, Harper’s one of the best talents we’ve seen in decades. Sort of wish I was able to see him in this series to see how he’s progressed since April. On the other hand, I’m in Spain right now, so, nevermind: I’m good.