Alert! Alert! Alert! Hottest of hot takes ahead. It’s anonymous, too, which is really the best kind of hot take. Baseball Prospectus has started a feature called “What Scouts Are Saying,” a collection of leftover quotes from anonymous scouts that BP’s writers didn’t use, for whatever reason, in their articles.
The full version of this week’s edition requires a subscription, but one anonymous scout’s opinion of Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is free for everyone to see:
He’s only 21 years old and there is a lot of talent there, but we are starting to reach the point where there may be cause for concern. He has not had a good year, and his hitting mechanics are all screwed up. It’s as if he is almost jumping at the ball. He comes out of his swing so hard and fast. He plays out of control all the time, in every facet of his game, and it’s clear he has become a distraction to Matt Williams. It would not surprise me if they end up trading Harper for a young arm and hold on to Denard Span.
Someone should nominate that hot take for the Ice Bucket Challenge. While Williams probably wouldn’t justify the scout’s opinion with a response, I’ll direct you to FanGraphs’ annual Trade Value series. The highest-ranked pitcher in the 2014 Trade Value rankings is 25-year-old Chicago White Sox lefty Chris Sale, who is ranked 11th. Harper, who won’t turn 22 until October, is ranked fourth. There are myriad reasons why the idea of the Nationals trading Harper for “a young arm” is preposterous, but I’ll just stop there.
Thanks to @SeanMMcnally.