Saturday, June 9, 2012

Baseball's Rising Stars

Bryce Harper & Stephen Strasburg

     Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg are arguably the two brightest young stars in Major League Baseball, and they are playing on the same team, the Washington Nationals. The "Natinals" of years past are gone, and a new beginning has come. After two years of the worst record in baseball, they selected with the #1 overall pick two outstanding prospects in Strasburg & Harper. Both players have proven their potential as of late, and that has resulted in a 1 game division lead through 56 games. 

     Right-Handed Pitcher Stephen Strasburg (6'4, 220) was drafted number 1 overall in the 2009 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals. However, soon after his Major League debut a year later, his pitching style "The Inverted W" led to an injury that required Tommy-John Surgery. Now, in 2012, he is back in action and in rare form. As of June 9th, 2012, Strasburg leads the MLBs with 92 strikeouts, has a record of 7-1, and an astonishing 2.41 ERA.  In fact, his only loss on the season came in a game where an unfortunate incident with "Hot Stuff" ointment caused a poor pitching performance. Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said, To the analytical eye, he throws his four-seam fastball up to 97 mph, the two-seamer 91-93 mph with late life, he has absolute confidence in the breaking ball, and a change-up." The statistics show that most players just cannot get a hit off of him. 

     Bryce Harper (6-3 205) is an amazing left-handed talent that could realistically play any and every position on the field. In High School, he was a pitcher with a 95 MPH fastball, and a strong-armed catcher that could throw out runners at  any time. He got his GED at the age of 17, enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada and in his only year broke the school record with a mind-boggling 31 home runs, vaporizing the previous record of 12. Harper was drafted number 1 overall in the 2010 MLB draft by the Washington Nationals. After spending a year in the minors, he was rushed to the majors a month early due to an injury to Nats star Ryan Zimmerman. So far, Harper is hitting .285 with 6 Home Runs and 17 RBI. To put this in perspective, he is ahead of where Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. were at this point in their careers.

     I believe that these two young players are well on their way to great careers. Strasburg should be voted to the All-Star game next month, and Bryce Harper has the potential to be voted Rookie of the Year. The Nationals may not have known just what they were getting themselves into when they drafted these guys, but they are already reaping the benefits. Look for alot more out of of both Harper & Strasburg in the future: Home Run Titles, Golden Gloves, Triple Crowns, Cy Youngs, MVPs, and World Series'.

Word to the Wise: Get out and see these guys as soon as you can, because the tickets are selling out as soon as they are available, and the prices are rising as we speak. The Sports Junkies, a DC sports radio show, are already using Harper's name for a line of "Cised for Bryce" T-shirts.

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