If you ask any Major League Baseball fan who the best baseball player is they will probably tell you Mike Trout.
But if you ask fans who had the most potential one year ago, they probably would have said Bryce Harper. And Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams has made it pretty clear that he still feels that way as well.
While on a radio show early this morning, Williams was asked if he was considering sending Harper down to the minor leagues due to his struggling performance. His response certainly didn’t leave anything to chance. He said: “Bryce Harper is one of the guys on our team. He's a very important part of our team, just like everybody else is. Do we understand each other? It's not fair to the kid. It's not fair to the rest of the clubhouse to even think about sending Bryce Harper to the Minor Leagues or to cause a stir. It's unacceptable. It won't happen.”
To be fair, Harper was out with a torn ligament in his thumb and missed 57 games. It’s not exactly a surprise that his timing at the plate is not quite there yet but a positive thing to note is that he certainly seems to have his speed right where it always was.
Time on his side
And ultimately he is still just 21 years old and has plenty of time to get healthy - the batting average and plate technique will slowly come back to him. But this will take time and if baseball has taught us anything it’s that the 162 game season is long enough for players to go down, recover, and get back to form if not even better than before.
Not that I agree with Williams’ tone of response but you can also see where he is coming from as a manager; if he feels that Harper brings something to the table, then there is no problem with keeping him in the lineup.
We will have to see if Harper can validate his manager’s trust in him in the following games and weeks...
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