Friday, April 29, 2011

Bryce Harper's Playground Brawl

Okay, so his playground was Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown. But still, you get the point. The kid picked a fight after taking a called third strike, and the benches cleared. Fortunately, no combat went down, but the point is that Harper still has a lot of maturing to do.

The article I linked to includes the following passage:

There was this from Baseball Prospectus before Harper was drafted: "It's impossible to find any talent evaluator who isn't blown away by Harper's ability on the field, but it's equally difficult to find one who doesn't genuinely dislike the kid.

"One scout called him among the worst amateur players he's ever seen from a makeup standpoint, with top-of-the-scale arrogance, a disturbingly large sense of entitlement, and on-field behavior that includes taunting opponents."

"He's just a bad, bad guy," one front-office official told Baseball Prospectus. "He's basically the anti-Joe Mauer."

Well, then. I think that says it all. He's got amazing talent, this kid. Unfortunately, just as I suspected, he's been coddled and spoiled and it's affected how he treats other people. He really needs to mature in personality before he belongs in Harrisburg, let alone even with Potomac. I love his upside, but I'm not a big fan of his bratty personality. He'll have to realize he's not entitled to everything automatically and he'll have to work his way to the top just like everyone else before he can actually advance. Remember, Bryce, this is a mental game, too, and mean people get ostracized and disliked. And that does not bode well for you.

UPDATE: Here is some video of the incident. It makes me wonder if the pitcher saw Bryce Harper leaving his helmet at home plate as an affront, as he was walking away without it after dropping it at home. It's very hard to see what's happening here, so I can't determine if this video tells me who's really at fault here, Harper or the opposing pitcher. Either way, though, this is at least entertaining. The strikeout comes around the 1:25 mark.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Daniel Murphy Is A Baseball Player

Last I checked, players in the Major Leagues who are batting .315 and adapting to a new position in the field are baseball players. In fact, I'm pretty darn sure they are.

This, of course, makes me wonder why the Nationals' color commentators are saying Daniel Murphy isn't one, considering he fits all of the above criteria. He's made a few errors at second base, yes, but he's developing his instincts there on the fly. The Nats' commentators apparently are stuck on his slow reaction time getting to the bag in the game last night after Jason Bay dropped a fly ball. They keep bringing it up. And here's the thing - yes, players make errors. But the Nationals lost the game last night, namely because Daniel Murphy tied the game with a homer and later helped overcome a 3-2 Nationals lead with a clutch double that drove in two in the 8th. In fact, although that 3-2 lead came as an indirect result of his slow reaction time to the bag, Murphy redeemed himself and helped permanently put the Mets in front.

There are lots of baseball players who make errors. I highly doubt we'd hear these men suggest shortstop Ian Desmond isn't a baseball player even though he's notably error-prone. We can't use just one error here to determine whether or not someone is a ballplayer. In addition, Murphy has a reputation for being a pretty clutch hitter. I wouldn't go around saying someone in the Majors who comes through in the clutch isn't a ballplayer. I just don't think it makes sense to say, "Oh, so-and-so's instincts aren't so good at that position. As talented as he is, he's not a baseball player." If someone's worked extremely hard, traveled all over the country on uncomfortable buses for hours on end, spent prolonged time away from loved ones, and developed the skills they needed to work their way all the way up to the top, they've earned the right to be called a Major League Baseball player. If you've made those sacrifices and you're succeeding in MLB, you're a baseball player, whether you're Dustin Pedroia or Albert Pujols.

And honestly? Daniel Murphy's succeeding. Therefore, Daniel Murphy is a baseball player. Don't tell me otherwise.

We now return to your regularly scheduled Minor League coverage.

Photo of Daniel Murphy by me, because I got a new Nikon Coolpix P500 for my birthday and tested it out at the Mets game on Tuesday night in Washington. Murph was 2-5.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Like our Facebook Page!

I'm posting lots of Minor League photos there, so check it out!

Short Video: Xavier Avery's Swing

His swing is very short and compact. I liked what I saw, even though he wasn't particularly offensively successful on the night I was there (Saturday).

Friday, April 1, 2011

All of my Charm City Yakyuu Prospect Previews are posted!

You can check out the entire series here. If there are other prospects you're interested in seeing, let me know - I'll be going to quite a few minor league games this season, so I'll do my best!