Want to get better acquainted with 17-year-old catcher Bryce Harper before he’s (almost certainly) drafted No. 1 overall by the Nationals this June? Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post wrote a great piece about him this afternoon, collecting opinions about the prodigy’s attitude and personality from several different sources. It’s worth reading the entire article, but here are some quick Harper facts:
- He can throw a 96 MPH fastball.
- He’s capable of playing a variety of positions, but really wants to catch as a professional.
- His father helped build the Las Vegas Strip, laying rebar for 27 years.
- Harper led the National Junior College Athletic Association with 23 homers, 68 RBI, a .917 slugging percentage and 71 runs this year.
- The next-highest player in the conference had 11 home runs.
- Harper scored a 4.0 GPA in the fall at the College of Southern Nevada.
- There are only 22 days until the draft.
Harper undoubtedly has a swagger about him. He wipes his face with eye black before every game and has a whole routine as he steps into the batter’s box that seems a little LeBron James-like. But he is most definitely a competitor and an incredible talent with a better-than-expected background.
The Miami Herald reports that the Marlins and Martin Prado have agreed to a three-year, $40 million contracy extension.
Prado has been highly effective for Miami, hitting .297/.350/.405 over two seasons The Marlins were eager to keep him and many teams were no doubt interested in trying to sign him this winter as he stood pretty darn tall on a pretty weak free agent market. He may very well have done better than the $40 million he’s getting, but a qualifying offer could’ve made the free agency process a bit more drawn out one than he would’ve preferred. And, of course, he seems very happy in Miami, as evidenced by his increasing role as a team leader with the Marlins.
For his career Prado has hit .293/.342/.423 over 11 seasons. He’ll now be locked up through his age-35 campaign.
The Cardinals got shellacked 15-2 by the Reds, one of baseball’s worst teams, last night. In so doing they fell a half game behind the Giants for the second Wild Card.
Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote about last night’s game. What struck him was the reaction from the crowd at Busch Stadium:
And the fans, in a rare moment of pique, let the Cardinals hear about it, first booing and then erupting in a Bronx cheer when the final out of a seven-run fourth was recorded. They booed a little more later on and then many of them beat the traffic, with some of them at least leaving with a Grateful Dead T-shirt, a special theme night promotion . . . The paid crowd to witness the carnage was 34,942, snapping a string of 240 straight crowds here of over 40,000, dating to Sept. 24, 2013. Matheny said he noticed the reaction of the crowd and appeared to find little fault with it.
It’s been such a weird season for the Cardinals. Maybe the weirdest part of all has been how terrible they’ve been at home, with a record of 33-42. They have six more games at home, and they no longer control their own playoff destiny.
Is this booing and leaving a one-time thing, or will we see a lot more of it between now and Sunday?