Fantasy Baseball Friday: Bryce Harper Continues to Live up to Hype


by Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper came into the MLB with perhaps the biggest hype since his teammate Stephen Strasburg and like the pitcher, he continues to impress.

Harper is just 20 years old, yet finds himself with 15 home runs, 45 runs batted in and 75 runs despite spending part of the 2012 major league season in the minors.

That home run total is equal to Alex Rodriguez, Shin-Soo Choo and Ben Zobrist. His 45 RBIs are better than Rodriguez, Desmond Jennings, Brett Lawrie and Ichiro Suzuki.

Though this does not mean Harper has done nothing but good this season. The Las Vegas-native did begin his time in the majors sporting a .274 average through May and June but the dog days of summer have seen that number decline to .256 over the last few months. While that number might not have a whole lot of his fantasy managers happy, August saw Harper return his value in the form of RBI and homers.

Last month, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft posted six home runs and 16 RBI for the Nationals and his fantasy managers. A vast upgrade over the one homer and seven RBI Harper hit all through the month of July.

It’s always difficult to predict numbers for a rookie, even one with several months of MLB experience but Harper is on the road back to being a reliable starting outfielder in fantasy.

This is the same young talent that posted 17 home runs, 58 RBI and 26 stolen bases in his first season in both Single and Double-A. Harper has shown the ability to adapt to different situations and that he can excel on any level.

If you’re a Harper owner, chances are you either drafted him way back before the long season even started or you snagged him off the waiver wire real early on. Either way, you have invested a roster spot on this player for a long time and there’s a reason for that: because he’s darn good.

Harper hasn’t forgotten how to swing the bat and he has proven over is albeit short career that he knows how to put numbers in the box score. He’s slowly coming back to producing at the superstar status that made him into the huge name he already is.

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