Although reports have stated that Harper has toned down his attitude towards the media and he’s become less arrogant this spring, he’s still egotistical and thinks he’s superior to others.
Apparently, he deactivated his Twitter account so that he doesn’t accidentally say something he wasn’t supposed to let slip, which is a step in the right direction.
What happens if at some point, over the next month or so, he decides to reactivate his Twitter for the fun of it? He’s just a 19-year-old boy, and he wants to fit in with his friends. I can see Harper giving in to teen pressure and possibly doing something stupid and not even realizing it.
Yes, I’ve read that he’s toning his attitude down while in interviews and he’s not as jumpy/in your face all the time. but again, he’s so young and things could all change very quickly.
I think it’s very important for the Nationals to monitor his Internet activity, including Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.
Another reason I think Harper could possibly fail and not make it to the major leagues this season is because he is too young, and there is too much pressure on him to perform at such a high level.
He’s not allowed to make any mistakes, and if he does, the media will crucify him.
This is the kind of publicity and hype that surrounded Strasburg in 2010 when he debuted in June. every single pitch was documented and each result was criticized. I’m not sure if Harper can handle this type of pressure.
Strasburg was able to handle the pressure pretty well, but I think, if it’s possible, there is even more pressure on Harper to do well. Harper has been called “the Chosen One” by Sports Illustrated and has been said to be the latest prodigy since LeBron.
Think about it. Strasburg obviously paved the way and is already on the Nationals roster, so he has nothing more to worry about. Harper, on the other hand, has his entire future in front of him, and that’s a lot of pressure for a 19-year-old who should be thinking of where to take his girlfriend on their next date, or what he and his friends are going to do this Friday night.
Of course, he’s always going to be compared to Strasburg, and we’ll see if he can perform as well as he did in 2010.
There have been times in the past where Harper’s immaturity has reared its ugly head in the media. the first example comes after he hit a home run at the minor league level. as he was rounding the bases, he blew a kiss to the opposing pitcher.
Does that sound like something a future star should even think about doing? does that sound like a major league baseball player? Well, it doesn’t to me.
His fans would just respond by saying that he was too immature at that moment, but has grown up since. It’s hasn’t been too long since that happened, so he must have grown up fast.
Another example of his immaturity this spring occurred at training camp. Harper thinks, if he didn’t miss a week or so due to a calf injury this spring, then he would have made the club for Opening Day. that might say something about his pride and how much he believes in himself, which is very important, but I think it’s too much.
There’s no way a 19-year-old should think that he should make a professional major league baseball team right away, with just under a year of minor league experience.
Another reason why Harper might not make his debut this season, and this is a long shot, is if the Nationals are too cautious of calling him up at such a young age. Strasburg made his major league debut on June 9th, 2010 when he was just 21 years of age.
Although Strasburg enjoyed a good deal of success over his first year of work and posted a 5-3 record with an impressive 2.91 ERA, what if he stayed down at the minor league level a bit longer and gained more experience?
Maybe Strasburg wouldn’t have injured himself in the previous season (2011, which caused him to miss most of the year) if he were to stay in the minors a little longer.
I’m not saying that Strasburg is a bust in any stretch of the imagination. obviously he is phenomenal, and has many great years to come. but I really think that Strasburg could have benefited from another couple of months in the minors.
Another long shot why Harper will not make his major league debut this season is if he has any problems with his calf the rest of the summer, as he did for a week in the spring. Harper seems to be the type of player who will play through any injury without calling attention to it.
I just hope that, if something does end up going wrong and he injures himself, he’ll go to management and let them know. He’s so young and there’s no reason why he should miss a substantial amount of time due to such an insignificant injury.
So, although there hasn’t been a report of a calf injury flare-up, if I were the Nationals, I would be watching out more closely than usual to make sure that Harper is healthy.
I’m not saying that he’ll get injured, but the Nats need to pay attention and be cautious of this young star in the making.