Bryce Harper, sprinting onto your team and into your heart... Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Uber-prospect Bryce Harper was called up today and will be making his major league debut tomorrow night against Chad Billingsley and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Nationals waited just long enough that they delayed Harper's free agency by a year, which might be a coincidence, but then again...it might not. Harper was hitting .250 with a 708 OPS, so it's not as though the call-up was merit based.
Harper likely isn't ready for the big leagues right now, and has a good chance of struggling out of the gate. He's worth a pickup in all leagues however, based on his upside, but I wouldn't anticipate a Ryan Braun-like rookie year. He has monster power and could hit his fair share of home runs while providing a weak batting average, a la Adam Dunn, but I there is also the chance he gets sent down after Ryan Zimmerman returns from the disabled list. Don't mortgage anything for Harper in redraft leagues but feel free to drop the worst player on your team as a gamble on his upside. He's proven to be a slow starter upon each of his promotions, starting slowly at Hi-A and Double-A before going on a tear. He didn't get that chance at Triple-A, but he's quite capable of making adjustments quickly, so if he does stick around, I'd expect better results as the season wears on.
If you are fortunate enough to have drafted Harper or are anything but a Dodgers fan...today is a great day. The rest of us will suffer through his debut with a mixture of fear and anticipation.