Monday, June 15, 2009

Bryce Harper did what?

Sure you already caught the news: the "chosen one" is leaving HS at 16. I already came out against mega-overhyped superstars here, and this strikes me as INSANE. Not quite Joe Nuxhall to the Majors at 15 insane, but INSANE. The blogger over at Yahoo seems to think this is justified insofar as he's striking while the iron is hot (and it's hard to argue with that logic), but the idiot GM who throws millions at this kid deserves to be exiled to Mars. Although the narrative around this wunderkind is that he is a "once in a lifetime talent," let's not forget that every year the media sells us on a new "once in a lifetime talent," whether that's Longoria, Braun, Brien Taylor, Todd Van Popple, and on and on. And let's not forget how steep the athletic and social learning curve from 16 yo messiah to 22 yo everyday ball player is. Todd Marinovich couldn't handle it, and in all fairness to All-Star Josh Hamilton, the ride almost killed him. 

I wish Bryce Harper all the success in the world, but the road from HS Superstar to even making it as a 4th outfielder on the Nat'ls is littered with guys who ended up with desk jobs by the time they were 23. I've met a few. Nice people, really, but they had nowhere near the pressure of being the NEXT BIG THING. Here's to hoping he lives up to 1/10 of his hype.

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