It all started a couple years back when ESPN held some stupid post about which outfielder had the best throwing arm. Christina Kahrl – the co-founder of Baseball Prospectus (a site I love) – ran off a list of guys who had decent throwing arms but were nowhere near as good of throwing outfielders as Jay Bruce.
I brought this to her attention on twitter, and instead of admitting that she possibly omitted a guy who should have at least made their little list; she spits back some meaningless, stupid stat I’ve never heard of like ‘his don’t run on me percentage is ninth among NL right-fielders’. I knew right then that we were dealing with someone who:
a) Simply only watches large-market teams and stars – completely alright if you miss Bruce on the list because you simply don’t see him play. Not a good excuse, but it’s at least a reasonable excuse.
b) Someone who watches baseball about like 99% of most women out there.
c) She was ‘statting’ players, not scouting or watching them. I think this was what she did.
No matter how many times I pointed out that despite runners not testing Jay Bruce at all; he still at that point led the NL in assists or appeared on the leaderboard every season. It wasn’t good enough for Christina.
Then today I stumble upon (days late) the hype-fest that is the ‘ESPN Francise Player Draft’. This started out fun a few years back, and it’s continued to get more ignorant with each passing year. It is interesting, nonetheless. Jim Bowden always reaches for the guy I really like.
Not shocking, with all the wonderful players in baseball you could build a franchise around; she reaches for Bryce Harper because; ‘she’s all about upside value’!
The Hell with taking a guy like Puig, who appears to be the best young player in the game left to select (Trout was off the board as he should have been at one), or Giancarlo Stanton, or a guy who could win three more MVP’s before Harper gets through a season without a sprained something. No! Christina wants Bryce Harper because he has upside and he’s going to be good in a couple of years. Fuck taking the guy who is good you know; now.
A clear superstar like Carlos Gomez comes off the board at 21 overall, and continues to rack up the WAR on a nightly basis while Bryce Harper is a twitter spokesperson for Apple Gatorade and some of the finer dining areas in Washington. I have news for our quasi-famous Christina: if you build your franchise around Bryce Harper it will go belly-up and you will be selling meat out of the back of a truck within a matter of years.
This is coming from an admitted Harper fanboy who is tantalized by his talents; but the guy is more of a celebrity than a baseball player and until that changes you leave him on the board for someone else and if you luck into selecting a player two overall in all of baseball to build around, pick someone who actually stays on the field and produces.
The stupidity of these experts – namely Christina Kahrl – is just astounding! I am pretty sure a few years back it was Michael Cuddyer who she tried to argue with me had a better throwing arm than Jay Bruce.