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Bryce Harper is no longer the best 19-year-old of all time

Oct 16, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

happy 20th birthday

Bryce Harper turned 20 years old today, which means I can’t write any more “how does Bryce Harper compare to the best 19-year-olds in baseball history” articles.

Well, except this one.

Here’s the final tally on how Harper’s age-19 season compared to the best age-19 seasons of all time:

Total bases (254): 1st
Extra-base hits (57): 1st
Runs (98): 2nd
Homers (22): 2nd
Doubles (26): 2nd
Walks (56): 2nd
Steals (18): 2nd
Slugging percentage (.477): 3rd
OPS (.817): 3rd
Plate appearances (597): 4th
Hits (144): 4th
Triples (9): 4th
Games (139): 5th
RBIs (59): 5th

And if you add that all up while including his strong defense in the outfield Harper produced 5.0 Wins Above Replacement to rank first among all 19-year-olds in MLB history ahead of Hall of Famer Mel Ott at 3.7.

So, yeah: Happy 20th birthday to the best 19-year-old of all time.

  1. nolanwiffle - Oct 16, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Rare when a player lives up to the overdone hype these days. Should be a great career to watch play out. He definitely spiked the energy level of the Nats when he came aboard.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Funny thing is, Harper was supposed to spend a lot more time at Syracuse, learning outfielding and baserunning and stuff like that. He came up because the Nats ran out of outfielders, so he had to learn those things in the Majors. He had his brain cramp moments, and the occasional issue dealing with the frustrations of being a Big Leaguer. But on the whole, he did pretty well.

      Happy Birthday, Bryce.

  2. Old Gator - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    That’s a couple of clown cupcakes, bro.

    • elmaquino - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      That’s totally not tired yet

      • Old Gator - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:34 PM

        Nor is “totally” totally tired yet – remarkable considering how many Twitter characters it uses up.

  3. number42is1 - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    I had no idea that trout was that much older than Harper.

  4. APBA Guy - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    That really is an impressive statistical achievement, especially when you consider who he bumped on that list: Ken Griffey Jr. A-Rod, etc..

    • Roger Moore - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      Yes. The list of guys were were useful major league position players when they were 19 is short and full of Hall of Famers. A lot of the guys who are on the list and aren’t in the Hall are either headed there or got derailed by injuries. I don’t think you can play in the majors when you’re that young without HOF caliber talent (though that level of talent is obviously no guarantee of a HOF career).

  5. willclarkgameface - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    I hope Bryce and the rest of the Nationals have a nice time on the golf course.

    Let’s start another post here about how Mike Rizzo AND Scott Boras are to blame for the Nationals going down. Boras put his pimp hand across the cheek of Rizzo and Rizzo felt like he couldn’t fight back.

    THAT’S a topic that needs to be discussed.

    • nolanwiffle - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      What an odd thing to say. Do you also hope that the other 725 major league players who won’t be winning the World Series “have a nice time on the golf course” as well?

      There’s an old adage….Promote what you love, instead of bashing what you hate.

      Enjoy the games, man. Kudos to the Cards for winning a terrific series.

      • cur68 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        I think Will’s purpose in life is the Rage. Rage Against The Machine. Rage in all circumstances, about all things. Rage like its the end of the world. Such Rage. If he could only bottle it and sell it like vitamin water. Rage Water™. He’d make a fortune. Then rage about it.

      • natstowngreg - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        I’m afraid reason is wasted on him. All he has is rage. Unfortunate.

      • RBIs Win Games - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        It was a terrific series. Yep, a lotta golf. Four teams went home this week and two more next week. Every one has “what ifs,” especially since all the division series went to five games. What if Johnson hadn’t blown a game? How could the Reds lose three at home? What if Desmond had gotten his glove on Descalco’s grounder? Etc.

        I’ve never seen a good comment from this poster. I guess he had Strasburg on his fantasy team and didn’t believe Rizzo would do what he said he would do.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

        Qualification Nolan: Will is NOT a Cardinals fan.
        I am not saying you are implying this. I just want to be sure everyone knows this however.

      • willclarkgameface - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        Why is that such an odd thing to say? This conversation has been percolating since August.

        Boras essentially put the vibe out there that if the Nationals were to continue to pitch Strasburg against doctors orders, he would sue. And then he tried to make it sound not as harsh by talking about how ethically horrible it would be to do such a thing. But, yeah, the money. Suing.

        It is my strong opinion at this point that:
        1) Scott Boras SHOULD be the new GM of the Nationals because he basically dictated how the team should handle the guy they are paying.
        2) Mike Rizzo and company were CHUMPS for not sticking up for themselves and referencing MILES of medical documents as to how Tommy John surgery patients can actually work after they have been fixed up.
        3) Scott Boras does as he will and if the Nationals didn’t comply, not only would he threaten legal action (and ethical finger-wagging), but he would threaten (and act I’m sure) to never bring his clients to the doorstep of that ball club again.
        4) Players listen to Boras because he can bring them the money. Strasburg – if he wanted to take real action in this case – should have fired his agent and worked this thing out in the spring.
        5) The Nationals didn’t want to create drama, but drama they created as all this nonsense got into the heads of all the players.

        Look it up. Boras is the TRUE GM of the Nationals. HE runs the team. Good luck if you are a fan in DC because this is just lame.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM

        Hey! Lay off the Rage, dammit!!!!!

      • nolanwiffle - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        Boras put the vibe out there? I live approximately 14 miles from downtown DC. I never got that vibe. Who was the intended audience of that vibe?

      • paperlions - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

        Opinions aside. It is a fact that the Nationals used the same approach after Zimmerman’s TJ surgery. Guess who Zimmerman’s agent is? Well, it doesn’t matter who it is…who it is not, is Scott Boras.

        So…do you think Boras talked the Nats into developing a protocol to apply to players he doesn’t represent before the player he does represent had TJ surgery? Because that is what you are saying.

      • natstowngreg - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        Think the vibe is like one of those high-pitched whistles that can be heard only by dogs, dolphins, and Mike Rizzo.

        So we’re supposed to believe that Scott Boras orders Rizzo and the Lerners around. Hmmmm…



        *rolls around on floor, laughing*

    • voteforno6 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      Obviously willclarkgameface knows so much more about how to run a team than anyone associated with the organization. Of course, they didn’t do any research on their own about the best way to develop young pitchers, and instead were bullied by an agent. If only they had listened to willclarkgameface, they would have saved themselves all this trouble.

    • Old Gator - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      It’s not an “odd” thing to say, Troll Prince. It’s just a boring one, given that you never met one of your two or three ideas – if we can dignify them with such a description, as opposed to, say, sound bites – that you couldn’t help beating to death.

  6. stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I am going to try to work the word “rage” into as many conversations I have.
    When I say conversations…I mean ALL CORRESPONDENCE. If you don’t like it…tough rage.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      That’s right. Go all Tom Morello & Brian Wilson on they asses!


  7. stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    You can thank me later.
    Transmission third world war third round
    A decade of the weapon of sound above ground
    No shelter if you’re lookin’ for shade
    I lick shots at the brutal charade
    As the polls close like a casket
    On truth devoured
    A Silent play in the shadow of power
    A spectacle monopolized
    The camera’s eyes on choice disguised
    Was it cast for the mass who burn and toil?
    Or for the vultures who thirst for blood and oil?
    Yes a spectacle monopolized
    They hold the reins and stole your eyes
    Or the fistagons
    The bullets and bombs
    Who stuff the banks
    Who staff the party ranks
    More for Gore or the son of a drug lord
    None of the above fuck it cut the cord

    Lights out
    Guerrilla Radio Turn that shit up
    Lights out
    Guerrilla Radio Turn that shit up
    Lights out
    Guerrilla Radio Turn that shit up
    Lights out
    Guerrilla Radio

    Contact I highjacked the frequencies
    Blockin’ the beltway
    Move on D.C.
    Way past the days of Bombin’ M.C.’s
    Sound off Mumia guan be free
    Who gottem yo check the federal file
    All you pen devils know the trial was vile
    An army of pigs try to silence my style
    Off ’em all out that box
    It’s my radio dial

    Lights out
    Guerrilla Radio Turn that shit up
    Lights out
    Guerrilla Radio Turn that shit up
    Lights out
    Guerrilla Radio Turn that shit up
    Lights out
    Guerrilla Radio Turn that shit up

    It has to start somewhere It has to start sometime
    What better place than here, what better time than now?

    All hell can’t stop us now
    All hell can’t stop us now
    All hell can’t stop us now
    All hell can’t stop us now
    All hell can’t stop us now
    All hell can’t stop us now

    “Guerilla Radio”
    Rage Against the Machine

    • historiophiliac - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      There’ll be no shelter here!

    • commonsenseisnotcmonman - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      I like the Richard Cheese version MUCH better

    • cur68 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      I think you’re infringing on my new product “Rage Water™”. You and this “Rage Against The Machine” (if that is their REAL name). I think I shall launch a joint suit with willclarkgameface against you and that band for infringement thingy. Between his Rage™ and my…my…my whatever, we’ll crush you in any court in the land. We’re demanding 10 zillion dollars for infringement, pain and suffering, and. . .stuff. Settle with us now or our Rage™ & Whatever will crush you like…like…something crushed. Or something.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        Boooo! Real rage water is equal parts sweat and funk spiced with…RRRRAAAAGGGEEE!

        (How is it that you DON’T have a man-crush on Tom Morello or Zack de la Rocha? You’re not right.)

      • natstowngreg - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        Are you sure that Canadian trademarks are enforceable in the U.S.?

        BTW, think the word you’re searching for is “grape.”

      • cur68 - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        Hey! Who told you about the sweat& funk?!? Those are secret ingredients! Me and Willclarkgameface had to chase David Eckstein around for like, 6 hours so he’d work up enough of a sweat so we could get enough to synthesize a clone-match. You think PCR machines are cheap? Willclarkgameface had to sell some of the bile from his…his… his whaddyacallit? His bile thingy. Yeah. He had to sell bile from his bile thingy to pay for that! He had to give part of his spleen to Eckstein, too (Eckestein lives on spleen: it is his food) so he’d agree to let us have some sweat. Poor Willclarkgameface. He chased Eckstein for HOURS! Hours and hours, chasing and frothing after him. That’s not easy. You know how scrappy Eckstein is? You don’t wanna be chasing him when your down a litre of bile.

        And the funk!? That’s MY funk, man. Funk with Whatever™. It is good shit, my funk. Beaver Powered Funk™. Huh. We suing you, too. That’ll be $10gazillion, peon.

        (I only have eyes for Roger Bernadina. He’s McDreamy (that’s McCarver + Dreamy). Am so right. So there.).

      • cur68 - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        Greg: willclark’s face is handling the American end of things. I got the Beaver side. I get all the Beaver, he gets America. That’s the deal. Cheers (and see you in court. Bring your cheque book).

      • historiophiliac - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        “Cheque book”

        Ha ha Finally goaded you into breaking out the Queen’s English. Go ahead. Tell me we are unciviliSed.

        Hope I’m not making you feel…rage!

      • indaburg - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        Chugging the Red Bull, are we?

      • cur68 - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        Equal parts despair, lack of sleep, and playoff baseball. I’m riding the wave….

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:21 PM

        This is some great stuff.
        Especially for all of the Rageaholics out there.
        Rage against the Man. Rage against the Government. Rage against the boss. Rage against life.
        Rage against the Machine Man. The Machine. Rage against it…dude.

    • indaburg - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      You never struck me as a RATM fan. Thank you. I love that song.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:30 PM

        My pleasure Inda. Yeah…I am known as a very high strung individual.
        That also plays well with my tastes in music.
        In a nutshell…the harder the music…the louder the music…the better the music (in my opinion).
        But I also dig R&B and Hip Hop (just on a much smaller scale).
        Anything but Country.

      • indaburg - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        Agreed. I think we have finally found common ground.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:20 PM

        Commond ground? Because of our political differences?
        I may lean more towards the conservative side of things (moderate actually)…but I am far more liberal thinking in regards to specific ideals. Gasp! I know that’s hard to believe.
        It makes it difficult for people to paint us with such broad strokes…right?
        Believe it or not…I have a lot of friends who sit on the other side of the political aisle.
        It makes life more interesting in my opinion.

        Something else in which we already found common ground…our mutual love of baseball.
        Wow…we are old friends! Hahaha!

      • indaburg - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:42 PM

        Yeah, that’s two things we have in common, old buddy. You’re right; it is easier to just put people in their little box and make assumptions about them. I need to broaden my horizons more.

  8. stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    I love it when he goes all Queens English on that ass.
    Come on Cur. Type color…check…and try (I dare you)…try to find a word you guys use that actually uses the letter “Z” in lieu of ”S.”
    Note: “Z” in lieu of “S.”

    • historiophiliac - Oct 16, 2012 at 7:36 PM

      Notice he also said “litre.” Ahhh, Canadians.

      Which reminds me, it’s time for a pint — the game is about to start.


  9. stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Qualifcation: The word can NOT start with the letter “z.”

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