Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bryce Harper thinks he can make the Nationals' roster out of Spring Training

Ah, the optimism of youth. Remember when you were eighteen and you thought you could do anything? (I do, too. It was only four years ago.)

Bryce Harper, who is still eighteen, is hoping to make the big league club out of Spring Training this season. Says he:
"Why can't it be realistic? Why can't I come in here and think I can make this team. I've exceeded expectations my whole life."
I don't want to be the one to break it to you, Bryce, but you're eighteen and you haven't had any professional experience yet. Yes, young players can break through - Jose Reyes was nineteen when he made his Mets debut. However, the difference is that Jose had significant Minor League playing time before being called up and had proven that he could handle the grind of a full season. Bryce doesn't have that to his name yet - he spent time playing for a community college, which, of course, doesn't play for the full-length season that MiLB clubs do.

Exceed expectations all you like, Bryce, but you're still likely going to start in Hagerstown this season. I'll meet you there if you like and we can see how you're feeling at that point, okay? But for now, don't set unrealistic goals for yourself - you'll just end up beating yourself up when you don't achieve them right away. It's about hard work, Bryce, not just talent.

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