Rookie of the year lock Bryce Harper was asked point blank in Toronto last night by a clueless reporter what his favorite beer was and Harper fired back a classic line: "THAT'S A CLOWN QUESTION BRO!"
Now that is some serious "Natitude" from the 19-year old Mormon who isn't allowed to drink. And you know what...I like it. Seriously baseball needs more guys like this. Harper hustles all the time and doesn't take shit from anybody. He's a pain in the ass for the opposition and he's the kind of player every manager or GM would want on their team. People wonder what kind of crazy numbers Josh Hamilton would have put up if he didn't chase the dragon coming out of high school and all you have to do is look at what Harper is doing right now. He's killing major league pitching at an age where he should be struggling with Double A pitching.
Harper's .944 OPS dwarfs Ken Griffey Jr's .748 when he was 19 and taking over the majors. Same with Hall of Famers Mickey Mantles (.792) and Al Kaline (.652) who both enjoyed similar success in the majors at 19. The only player I could find who put up the incredible stat lines of what Harper is projected at right now is Mel Ott (.921). Back in 1928 Ott was in his 3rd season in the bigs at the time and still the future all-time great didn't put up as good of numbers as Bryce is now.
So now a serious question: Is Bryce Harper MVP worthy? His .944 OPS has him behind current favorites Joey Votto (1.121), David Wright (1.03), Carlos Gonzalez (1.001), and Carlos Beltran (.964) but would Harper's impact on getting the Nationals to the playoffs trump all of those guys? Hard to say. Voters tend to reward veterans who get their respective team to the playoffs so you would have to think Votto and Beltran both have to be the favorites over Harper at this stage. But make no mistake if Harper continues to hustle and bash his Nationals into the playoffs for the first time a lot of voters would have to look at the 19-year-old as a serious candidate.
It would be a total clown move not to consider it.