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Harper on HR Derby and All-Star Game

Jul 11, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

PHILADELPHIA โ€” Bryce Harper has participated in only one Home Run Derby in his life: an amateur showcase in 2009 in St. Petersburg, Fla., where the then-16-year-old clubbed a 500-foot homer and was presented a trophy by none other than Davey Johnson.

So when he got the call from Mets slugger David Wright late last week, offering an invitation to compete in his first official MLB Home Run Derby, Harper knew he couldn't say no.

"I was just trying to think about for a couple of days, see if I really wanted to do it," he said. "I thought it would be pretty cool. And I didn't want to tell David Wright: 'No.'"

Harper will be the second-youngest player in Home Run Derby history, bested only by Ken Griffey Jr., who was 39 days younger when he competed as a 20-year-old in 1990.Read more ยป

  1. 5c3cd06e-cef8-11e1-abe6-000bcdcb2996 - Jul 11, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. hiramhover - Jul 11, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Speaking of dirty diapers – there's a stink in here. Maybe from someone eating alphabet soup?

  3. mick - Jul 11, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Davey is in pretty good shape for a guy in his 70's, no idea what that first and ridiculous post was about?speaking of HR derby…I watched not to long ago on MASN (not sure) and old black and white, half hour, HR derby involving Harmon Killebrew and I think Bobby Allison both with the original Senators, this was a tad before my time, but it looked like it was filmed at Griffith stadium…can anyone add to this…it was very cool, sponsored by I believe Schiltz beer?

  4. baseballswami - Jul 11, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Every time I look at Bryce I almost do a double take– physically he looks like a fully grown man. When he speaks he sound like a mature adult. Obviously, he had awesome parents and has been surrounded by good people.How often have you heard that about a young superstar? Not often.

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Talking about HRs, Rendon is inflicting lots of pain. Last week it was Grandal's knee and last night some Philly fans dome on that line drive HR.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2013/07/11/anthony-rendon-home-run-hits-phillies-fan-in-the-head/

  6. alexva - Jul 11, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    mick, when mlb network started they aired an old series that was filmed in LA at a stadium called Wrigley Field. the batters had to swing at every pitch in the strike zone. any called strike or batted ball that did not go for a home run was an out.

  7. mick - Jul 11, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    alexva thanks

  8. baseballswami - Jul 11, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Haha– you are correct about Rendon. What a kid. I am surprised he is not getting more national attention with the way he has stormed onto the scene. But then, when you watch him, he is kind of the anti- Puig. Very low key. During the game tonight they should monitor the heart rates of Rendon and JZim and see if either one of them ever reacts to anything.

  9. Doc - Jul 11, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    That post leading off about Davey should be removed. Totally uncalled for, except in the disturbed mind of the poster.ARen seems to bring a great attitude to the team along with his bat and glove, which in spite of 8 errors, he's adjusting playing a real good 2B.Gooooooooo Bulldog. Let's split with the Philthies and gain some ground on the Braves.

  10. baseballswami - Jul 11, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    The kid seems to be learning fast, Doc.

  11. mick - Jul 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    I figured out who Wilson Ramos reminds of…Thurman Munson…

  12. Water23 - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    It is nice to see last year's rookie avoid the sophomore slump. Hope he enjoy AS weekend and comes back ready to rake. Speaking of rake, some folks were talking about a nickname for Anthony Rendon. How about "T-Rake" as he seems to be hitting everything in site?

  13. Doc - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Good suggestion on "T-Rake", Water23. How about ARake???

  14. baseballswami - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Bryce seems like the kind of kid who is inspired by being among the best players in the game. I hope he comes back really fired up.

  15. Doc - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    True Swam.One thing that continually stands out about Harps is how he repects the game, and the history of the game.He belongs with the All Stars, and will eventually, over the years, be leading them.

  16. Water23 - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Doc, not bad and keeps us away from T-Plush! But, I thought he used Tony and not Anthony most of the time which is why I thought of T-Rake.

  17. Section 222 - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Eric, are you @natsnq (Nats Inquisition) on Twitter? If not, they stole your face …. I mean, your avatar. Actually, it's slightly different, but I couldn't resist the pun.

  18. alexva - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Davey refers to him as "the dude"

  19. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Why not just Rake…his last name begins with an R and all…

  20. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    222, no I'm @ickyfoot on TwitterJust saw the @natsnq avatar…very nice to see the idea going around, but the colors are wrong!

  21. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Er, I should say, they're right for the GD, but wrong for the Nats…

  22. NatsLady - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    I don't pay attention to posters who call other people "old" but apparently can't figure out how to get a screen name.

  23. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    That thar'd be an awfully convenient lack of figgerin ability…

  24. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    If not, they stole your face …. I mean, your avatar.#EatAvatar #First!

  25. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Ha! Well played all around fellas.

  26. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    PS – I was embarrassingly slow to truly grasp the pun, 222.

  27. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Hex code that apparently translates to 1337 speak or gobbledeegook.

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    baseballswami said… Haha– you are correct about Rendon. What a kid. I am surprised he is not getting more national attention with the way he has stormed onto the scene. But then, when you watch him, he is kind of the anti- Puig. Very low key.Glad you like the link.Funny how sentiment goes with the early ROY buzz. It was Gattis out of the gate and now Puig. Last year, Harp was the early choice and fell out then raked for the last 45 days and took the ROY. Still a lot of baseball to be played.Rendon gets no pub at all, and all he does is deliver. Jean Segura would be my pick with Rendon 2nd if voting was today.I just marvel at Rendon's 2 strike approach. He is a #2 hitter but I have no problems with him at #7 behind Desi and ahead of Ramos.

  32. Doc - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Interesting about Espi's delusions about being a power hitter, his replacement The Rake has 4 dingers in the Bigs,wtih a .300 aveerage. Danny, after a similar number of AB's at AAA, has 1, with a .200 average!Love seeing 6,7, & 8 coming up to bat, as much as I like seeing 3,4,& 5.

  33. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Yeah, it's getting to be like the end of last year where you never really get that feeling of, "OK, well, we'll get to the top of the order next inning."

  34. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    PS – Rendon isn't hitting after Desi these days, Ghost ;).

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Eric said… PS – Rendon isn't hitting after Desi these days, Ghost ;). July 11, 2013 1:28 PMMy meds have slowed me down the past day. What was I thinking, what was I doing.

  36. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    lol! I thought about letting you off the hook…but…nah ;)

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Doc said… The Rake has 4 dingers in the Bigs, with a .300 aveerage. Love seeing 6,7, & 8 coming up to bat, as much as I like seeing 3,4,& 5. July 11, 2013 1:23 PM I noticed you skipped over 1 and 2. Having Desi up with bases empty so much has changed his role and are you really going to run Desi in front of Harper?Seems Rendon in the #2 and Desi in the #6 with Werth at leadoff would work better and just keep Span in the #8 and try it out.

  38. baseballswami - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    I can guarantee you that when we make a run and get back into first place, our little Anthony will get noticed. A late season contribution to a playoff run attracts attention. That's what did it for Bryce. I just hope they stay away from Rendon with the notebook. He seems like a pure hitter to me. Rather they left him alone.

  39. NatsLady - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    jeffwx and those who asked, I took a look at three rotations from last year to see how the top 3 compare to the rest. Let me know if you like this approach, as it is pretty time-consuming. I figure if I get a bunch of teams I can then do overall impressions.2012 rotationshttp://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-best-of-back-end-draft.html

  40. Section 222 - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    I'm with you in principle about the batting order Ghost, but Werth seems to be thriving in the 6 hole right now, and Desi is doing ok. I wouldn't mess with it. Also, Ramos seems to be the only player in all of baseball who isn't bothered by hitting 8th. Remember how awful Desi was there? It's hard to imagine Span being worse, but he really could be.

  41. NatsLady - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    If I recall, Davey doesn't like to put catchers earlier in the order, because of the equipment and stress of being on the bases in the first couple of innings. Of course, that could change…

  42. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Mick @ 11:29,I think this is what you're talking about:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Run_Derby_(TV_series)

  43. Water23 - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Mick & Eugene,Ahh, brings back fond memories of TWIB!

  44. Section 222 - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    NL, really interesting draft analysis. Couldn't seem to comment on your blog, so posting here.Others may disagree, but I think you could do without all the advanced stats. Would that save some time? To me the interesting thing is W-L, GS, IP, ERA. Maybe WAR just to have numbers you can add up that might shed some light on something. And maybe add in winning percentage to see if The Wonk Hypothesis (win 2 of 3 starts by your top 3 and half of the rest and you're in very good shape) is the way most good teams did it. Certainly seems like the Braves, Nats, and Cardinals bear it out quite well.

  45. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Eric said… lol! I thought about letting you off the hook…but…nah ;)It was bad enough that I had Span down for 4 grounders but what was I thinking about typing that Desi was still hitting before Rendon!

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Section 222 said… I'm with you in principle about the batting order Ghost, but Werth seems to be thriving in the 6 hole right now, and Desi is doing ok. I wouldn't mess with it. Also, Ramos seems to be the only player in all of baseball who isn't bothered by hitting 8th. Remember how awful Desi was there? It's hard to imagine Span being worse, but he really could be. The current order is fine vs RHPs. The problem is with the LHPs.I suppose moving Harp to CF and Hairston to LF might just be more of the permanent solution.I want to see the 2012 version of Hairston!

  47. hiramhover - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    NLThanks for the analysis at your site – I commented over there, but will X-post my comment here.What stands out to me is that there is single "prototype" for the back of the rotation starter–that is, some guy who's going to go out and make 25-30 starts a year. Instead, most teams have 5-6 guys who together occupy the #4-#5 positions, and they're a mixed lot. Some emerging prospects, some declining vets, some AAAA types, some guys who get injured or just pitch too poorly to stick around.PS – Fwiw, I disagree with 222, and I'd keep the advanced stats. Good for those who are interested, easy to ignore for those who aren't.

  48. NatsLady - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Thanks for the feedback, 222. The only advanced stat I have in there is FIP, doesn't really save me any time to leave that out, but for an entire season it doesn't mean much either, as ERA and FIP should normalize. I can leave it out for readability. I like the per-9 stats so you have an idea what the difference in "quality is" (walks, strikeouts, HRs). To get game results by starter is a little harder, since, obviously, some games were won by relievers. I'm not sure it's in fangraphs, they do have something like that in baseball reference, I'll see how much time it adds to the effort.

  49. David Proctor - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Detwiler is a good enough 4 or 5 starter. We shouldn't expect him to pitch like an ace. He'll keep us in a game most of the time. If he finishes with a 4.00 ERA (and I suspect he'll finish with an ERA lower than that), he's fine.Haren…remains to be seen. But I'm not confident.

  50. NatsLady - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    hh–volatility in the 4-5 slots is particularly noticeable early in the season and in September (or if there is an injury). Thanks also.

  51. JD - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    On ROY I did a filter on rookies and Segura didn't show. Are you sure he's a rookie? If he is the he is the leader by far otherwise IMO it's: Puig,Gregorius, A.J Pollock and Rendon. Rendon can pass some of these guys butboth Pollock and Gregorius have over 250 at bats already and have maintained their level of production throughout the year. Puig is at .394 .428 .634. It's really hard to beat that at this stage of the season.

  52. David Proctor - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Puig will finish the season under .300.

  53. JD - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    222, to me W-L is almost useless. you have to look no further than our top 3 to see how luck can play in these records. ERA while somewhat telling is also deeply flawed because one pitcher can have a defense which helps him lower his ERA and another a defense which causes his ERA to increase. Additionally you have to take into account the fact that pitchers who play in Philly and Cinci cannot be judged fairly against pitchers who play in DC and NY (Citi field) using ERA.

  54. JD - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Not to mention the fact that great bullpens can really help a starter's ERA and lousy pens can really hurt it.

  55. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    "It was bad enough that I had Span down for 4 grounders but what was I thinking about typing that Desi was still hitting before Rendon!"Driftin and dreamin?

  56. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  57. JD - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Eric, When Hairston is in a groove he hits for consistent power. I think this is what Ghost is hoping for.

  58. NatsLady - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    JD, everything you say is absolutely true, and it's why advanced stats were invented–to allow for defense (FIP) and park effects (ERA+).Nevertheless, what I'm getting at is more an assessment of the value a team is getting out of the 4-5 in its rotation, and since I'm using an entire season, even the coarse-grained stats will probably lead to reasonable conclusions. The Reds pitchers, for example, are all pitching in the Reds ballpark, but some do better than others.It turns out that to get game result by starting pitcher is actually rather difficult, which suggests to me that no site has thought it's important enough to track it.

  59. Eric - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Gotcha JD…although his HR totals seem to be good this year, while his average is very low.

  60. JD - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    NL, I wasn't criticizing you at all. Your conclusions are valid.

  61. JD - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Eric, A couple of years ago Hairston platooned regularly for the Mets and he got a lot of playing time. In that role he exhibited a lot of power (20 HR's). His OBP has never been good and this is why I was surprised to see him lead off.

  62. mick - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Eugene…that was itthank you!!!!

  63. NatsLady - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    JD, no problem, didn't take it as criticism. Just explaining my thought process. I feel the advanced stats have more value as predictors, whereas I'm looking at the past. For example, you look at a guy's FIP to see what kind of ERA you can expect from him (on average). By the end of a season or certainly by the end of three seasons, his FIP and ERA should be pretty close, so if you look at career stats, ERA is OK. WIns/losses–not so much, because a guy like Felix Hernandez and never had a chance to be on a quality team.

  64. Water23 - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Speaking of 4-5 starter, if Det continues his struggles both on the mound and with injuries and Haren doesn't settle down then maybe an acquisition is needed. How about Peavy? He is signed for an extra year which would give Purke et al a little more time to succeed and if needed a chance to move Det or others.

  65. Water23 - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Also, I really like Aoki as a 4th outfielder. He has a high OBP and can play all 3 positions. Plus he is cheap and controllable next year.

  66. NatsLady - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Same with BABiP, which I don't use much for pitchers, anyway. For hitters, in the short run, it tells you whether a guy has been unlucky but over a season/career, it should normalize so BABiP doesn't have much value over the slash-stats. Someone like Ichiro is the exception, he has been able to manage a high BABiP by being fast and also able to "target" where he hits. You will also find, that a power hitter who is slow (e.g., a Ramos-type) may have a consistently lower BABiP but he is still extremely valuable.

  67. Section 222 - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Sorry, I didn't look carefully enough and now see that the W-L records on NL's draft were of the starters, not of the games that they started. I agree that those aren't meaningful at all.

  68. NatsLady - Jul 11, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Thanks for the feedback. 222. I like Wonk's thought of aiming for 2/3 wins by our big three and 1/2 wins by the 4-5 but it's really hard to see if that matches past performance…at least, not without going into boxscores one by one. I'm off to work now, I'll get back to it tomorrow. Sorry, Wonk, but this will delay my series on the Opening Day Starters, which I know you like. Next week, with no games, I should be able to do some analytical-type posting. I don't know how Mark&co keep up with everything. However, writing a daily game post is very illuminating and definitely slows me down on the ovver-reactions to individual events.

  69. NatsLady - Jul 11, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Water23, I think despite what Davey and Rizzo put out there in public, Davey wants another SP, and Rizzo is on all of his phones.

  70. Doc - Jul 11, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    NL, re: DaveySpeakIn the words of Keith Hernandez, that which Davey says,and what Davey means, are two different things!

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