#2 Bryce Harper
Previous Rank: 1
There just isn’t very much to say that hasn’t already been said about Harper. He is, in our opinion, the greatest offensive prospect in history, and he is second only to Strasburg in terms of history’s greatest prospects. For an 18-year-old, Harper was insane in 2011. He slashed .297/.392/.501 on the year across two levels including 37 games in Double-A. He went deep 17 times and stole 26 bags. He has no weaknesses aside from a lack of familiarity with professional secondary stuff, as his 87 strikeouts suggest. Nevertheless, he is a quick learner and has already softened his stride to account for better breaking pitches.
|2011||18||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-AA||109||452||387||24||17||58||26||7||59||87||.297||.392||.501|
He followed up the Double-A season with a terrific 25 games in the Arizona Fall League, posting a 1.034 OPS and going deep six times. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Harper’s professional debut, though, was the fact that he seemed so comfortable being at the levels that he was. The Sally League is no joke, and obviously an 18-year-old in Double-A is something to take note of. He showed some flexibility in the outfield, collecting some innings in center as well as right. His bat plays anywhere, but can you imagine a homerun champ in center? He’d be Griffey Jr. And that’s exactly what we think of Harper.
He can be one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. We expect him to return to Harrisburg to open 2012, but no one would be surprised if he is quickly promoted to Triple-A and ultimately finishes the year in Washington. We expect him to open 2013 in the Nationals outfield and to basically retire there 15 years or so down the road after winning several MVPs.