Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chopping Wood With The Railsplitter

Good bye, study hall…hello, curve ball. Bryce Harper’s parents have decided to pull him out of high school so as to fast track his professional baseball career. Bryce, as you’ll recall, is the Sports Illustrated-dubbed “Chosen One”…a 16-year old who hits 500+ foot homers and is clocked in the high 90s on his fastball. Ron Harper (no, Bulls fans, not that one) announced that he will remove his son from high school, have him get his GED and then enroll him in a community college. All of this will then make him eligible for the 2010 draft, and who knows, maybe he and Stephen Strasburg will team up and make the Nationals 2-1 favorites for the 2011 World Series title.

This move sets a dangerous precedent in my eyes. The Harper’s are making a wise move as their son’s stock will never be higher, however, my concern is that other parents will mimic this course of action the next time little Johnny goes 3-4 with 5 RBI’s. Of course, that is an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.

So, chop away faithful followers of the PG blog. Do you agree with the Harper’s move by striking while the proverbial iron is hot? How do you feel about them prioritizing financial gain over educational development? What happens if this move backfires and Bryce is the next Schea Cotton?


PG said...

There should be two questions posed here. First one, should he be allowed to leave high school and pursue higher ambitions. Second one, should he leave high school and pursue higher ambitions.

The answer to question one is this. Athletes do it in tennis, basketball, golf, soccer...why not baseball? Yes, the situation is a bit different in that the athletes in the aforementioned sports usually go straight to the big leagues (while in baseball, it usually takes a while). Which leads me to the answer to question 2.

And that answer is yes. Look, the guy feels that he can no longer compete with high school calibar players. If the stats that I have seen and the stories I have read are true, it sounds like he's ready to take the next step. Is it a big gamble? Absolutely, in that there is something to be said about continuing development. But one might say that cannot continue to develop his skills playing with boys.

New Linc said...

This comment is factual in nature only and not to provide fuel to fire either the pro or con pursue higher ambitions argument.

Combining managers and players, 26 individuals possess a 4 year degree in all of professional baseball - the lowest percentage of any major professional sport.

Oakland, Washington, and Arizona are the 3 franchises with the highest number of degreed players/coaches. LA Dodgers and Texas Rangers lack a single player or coach with a degree.

PG said...

Some might say the only thing a degree proves is that you payed a 4 year bill.

T-Dub said...

I don't have a problem with anyone taking a shot - hell, if they do it young enough, they can be an absolute 'F' up like Josh Hamilton and still have time to straighten up and be somebody.

It does seem really weird to me to have a kid pulled to head to CC land, but heck, I love money as much as the next guy ... morality, right/wrong ... secondary at best.

Michael said...

If they were really smart, they should move to the dominican republic and become a free agent...

Edward said...

Obviously PG's 4 year degree PAID off for him judging by his spelling.

I don't have too big a problem with him going to CC early. It does happen in other sports (hispanic baseball players are signed at 16 so the teams are used to judging talent at that age). What will probably happen down the road is that MLB will install a minimum age so more players can't do this.

Cornholers said...

First let me say I apologize to the loyal readers for my absence yesterday. Not to get into it but safe to say I was mostly disabled the last 2 days and back on the road to recovery today.

Onto Bryce Harper, there comes a time in a ballplayers development where it could be hindered by playing below his level. I don't think the parents are just looking at the signing bonus $$$. I truly believe they understand their son is gifted and the best thing for him at this point in his career is to go onto the next level of play.

Whether he becomes the next Al Kaline or crashes and burns todays signing bonus normally include college clauses where he'll get 4 years paid for after his career. So where's the harm??