The 6’3″, 225 lbs., 17 year-old phenomenon from the city of Las Vegas signed a 5-year deal with the Washington Nationals last night, just before midnight, making him the second consecutive top draft pick signed by the Nationals.
As I’ve so boldly proclaimed before, I love baseball. Here’s yet another reason why. Harper’s rookie deal became the largest contract in MLB history–a whopping $9.9 million over 5 years. Yeah. You’re thinking what everyone is thinking: That’s it? That’s it. He’s 17. No guarantee that money will equate to making quality life decisions.
People fault baseball for being archaic and boring, but I certainly love that they don’t pay players obscene amounts of money before they’ve actually proved themselves worthy. As I sit and write these words in an LSU t-shirt, I only need to combine two names: JaMarcus Russell.
Still, in baseball, you prove yourself worthy by the ripe, old age of 23, and you’re talking the biggest lottery in sports–there is no salary cap. Big market teams with big money will pay more than they should to secure the services of someone like a Bryce Harper…if he produces. And smaller market teams
Regardless, don’t expect to see the youngster in the bigs anytime soon. More than likely, they’ll baptize him by fire in A-Ball, pull him from his chosen position of catcher, put him in right field and allow him to start adjusting to better pitching. I would normally yap about adjusting to the wooden bat, but it’s all he generally hits with.
If you still haven’t had a taste of what this kid has done, and potentially will do, here’s a gander.