Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper entered Sunday night’s game against the Mets already leading the majors in home run with five, but he extended that lead with No. 6 — a two-run shot — in the bottom of the first inning off of Matt Harvey.
There’s a three-way tie for second place on the home run leaderboard between Brian Dozier, Charlie Blackmon, and Matt Davidson, who each have four dingers.
Harper entered the evening batting .292/.486/.917 with 10 RBI and 11 walks in 37 plate appearances. If he keeps hitting like this, that walk total is going to start to rise considerably.
This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.
The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.
As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.