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Sunday, March 20, 2011

WHY BRYCE HARPER COULD BE A YANKEE

No, you didn't read that title wrong. I'm talking about Bryce Harper in pinstripes, slugging home runs in "The House That Jeter Built." Can you picture that?

Perhaps I'm going a little too far into the future, but while flipping through some baseball news, I happened to find this article from June 2009 from The Star Ledger, read it HERE. In it, Michael Fensom writes: "Harper says one of his dreams is to one day wear Yankees pinstripes."

Now, anytime I hear a young baseball phenom say the Yankees are his dream team, I immediately picture him in pinstripes. Bryce Harper grew up idolizing the Core Four, he celebrated the '96-'00 dynasty wins at a young age, and apparently nothing has changed in his life. There's little doubt in mind that it's only a matter of time before Bryce Harper joins the endless list of Yankees greats, including but obviously not limited to Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Whitey Ford, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Don Mattingly, Bernie Williams, Reggie Jackson, and Yogi Berra.

I've heard some people say they think he'll stick with the Nationals, but with all due respect to them, I think that's utter BS. The 1st round 1st pick usually goes to the worst team in the league. It's very rare you see a phenomenal young player get picked 1st overall then spend a 15-20 year career being the lone shining star amongst mediocrity. Let's just take a look at a few 1st overall picks and where they ended up, it's interesting:
These three men are recognized as some of the most dominant players in the game (as hard as it is to say about Gonzalez.) All of them are now on teams competing for World Championships. Not one of them was drafted by the team they are currently on, they were either traded, perhaps by request, or signed a massive contract with a successful team whenever they could to get away from the losing teams they started on. Obviously there are exceptions:
The Braves are a club that managed to turn their fortune around by the time they had their young star in the majors. Usually players talented and driven enough to be 1st overall are so hungry for victory and glory that they'll cut their ties with the losing team as soon as possible. I don't expect Harper to be any different, and in light of the fact that playing for the Yankees is a dream of his, I think it's even more likely that he'll end up in the Bronx, not just for the big bucks, but to fulfill his dream.
(photo: Getty)
2015 is a long way away, but just take a second to picture this scenario:
  • PITCHING: Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances, and Manny Banuelos have all come into their own and form a dominant pitching staff along with Phil Hughes and the now aging but still very effective CC Sabathia.
  • CATCHING: Jesus Montero, will still be killing it and will be entering his prime and start putting up even bigger numbers.
  • JETER: Unfortunately, the last dynasty would have moved on into retirement, some of them like Jeter returning to continue his involvement with the organization, but some signings in the meantime (Hanley Ramirez anyone?) would be filling in the holes.
  • ALEX AND TEX: They're no longer young, but still putting up big numbers.
  • CANO: He's still Cano, which is to say he's really really good.
  • OUTFIELD: Granderson, Gardner, and Swisher would still hanging around, but Swisher would be moving into his mid-30s and maybe playing some DH.
  • THE CLOSER: Hell, maybe Rafael Soriano stuck around for a while longer and is now a dominant closer in Mo's place.
Then Bryce Harper's contract with the Nationals ends. Now 23 in the winter of 2015 and only a few years off his prime but already putting up massive numbers, Harper looks for a equally massive contract. His dream team offers him 8 years $170 million. He ecstatically inks the deal, and suddenly the young prodigy Bryce Harper dons the pinstripes and is officially a New York Yankee like he always wanted to be. He joins an already absolutely dominant team and sets them up for another dynasty like the late '90s.

Does this really sound all that far-fetched? I don't think so. Mark my words, come the 2016 season, we'll be seeing Bryce Harper not just as a phenom, but as our phenom.



--Grant Cederquist, BYB Staff Writer



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