After the 2015 season ended, Bryce Harper said what needed to be said on his way to the airport, and we posted this quote (below) and it got lost among the big news of that day which was the departure of Matt Williams. It needs to be repeated and taken seriously. When Bryce Harper talks, people listen!
Bryce set a franchise record with 124 Walks in a season and that is a good thing and a bad thing in terms of impact. Teams would often pitch around Bryce because the batter after him in the lineup was not feared enough to challenge the other team to reconsider pitching to Bryce. At a .460 OBP Bryce was on base 46 out of every 100 plate appearances and to put that it in perspective, Bryce had 654 PAs in 2015 and scored 118 runs. Do the math, Bryce was on base well over 300 times and that doesn’t include reaching on fielder’s choice and errors. Bryce was stranded at least 182 times. That is too often!
Nationals' Bryce Harper sets franchise record with 124th walk of season – ESPN http://t.co/eM7kMnAQFx
— Nationals show (@Nationalsshow) September 30, 2015
This is a powerful statement and needs to be read a few times to try to decipher and think where and how this would happen and who loses their starting job. Here’s Bryce’s quote:
“The one thing we definitely need is another lefthanded bat and hopefully a HUGE righthanded bat to hit behind me, or in front of me. If we can do that, that would definitely help us out and put us up to the top.”
If Opening Day was tomorrow, we would project this line-up:
- Rendon 3B
- Werth LF
- Harper RF
- RZim 1B
- Escobar 2B
- Ramos C
- Espi SS
- Taylor CF
- Scherzer P
Now let’s assume Rizzo can get a lefty outfield bat or 1st base bat and here are some candidates:
- Jason Heyward
- Alex Gordon
- Gerardo Parra
- Colby Rasmus
- Denard Span
- Carlos Gonzalez
- Jay Bruce
- Dexter Fowler (switch-hitter)
- Chris Davis
Heyward, Fowler, Davis and Gordon will cost the Nats their 1st round pick #18 overall, and the jury is out on whether Rasmus would be QO’d and Parra can’t be QO’d as he was traded during the season. Span wouldn’t cost the Nats a Draft Pick and CarGo would be costly in trade and Jay Bruce doesn’t look like he did when he dominated RHPs. Chris Davis played 71 games in the outfield in his tenure in Baltimore. Expect Davis as a Boras client to be tied to the Nats.
There are pros and cons on each name in the list. This might not be the year to sign a Free Agent and give up a #18 pick. It might be the right time to get Gerardo Parra and hope he plays at the level he did for the Brewers.
Now to the more difficult part of Bryce’s quote “hopefully a HUGE righthanded bat to hit behind me, or in front of me.” Who would this player replace? HUGE righthanded bats usually play 1st base or LF. Why wouldn’t Bryce just say “I’m hoping for healthy Ryan Zimmerman to hit behind me” but he didn’t.
Can you see Rizzo making a move for a HUGE righthanded bat? Who could that be?
Here’s the newly minted 23 year old birthday boy who said he was a “little boy at heart” playing around in the Toon Town portion of Disneyland in Anaheim, CA
What’s your thoughts to give Bryce his birthday wish to get this team and……
“…. definitely help us out and put us up to the top”