Here is an opinion, from a group of anonymous players surveyed this spring: Bryce Harper, 21 years old, left fielder for the Washington Nationals, is the most overrated player in baseball.
Here is a fact, from a seemingly mythical place where truth supersedes opinion: In baseball history, 11 players have finished their age-20 season with an on-base percentage of .350 or better and a slugging percentage of .475 and up. The first six are in the Hall of Fame. Vada Pinson sustained a long, underrated career. Ken Griffey Jr. is a first-ballot, no-doubt Hall of Famer. Alex Rodriguez, for his many warts, remains an all-time brilliant ballplayer. Mike Trout is the best player alive. Bryce Harper is the 11th.
Here is another fact, from a land in which perception takes a backseat to reality: Three players have logged more than 1,000 plate appearances through age 20 and put up that same .350-plus OBP and .475-plus slugging percentage. The first was Mel Ott. The second was Mickey Mantle. The thirdRead More »from Everyone hates Bryce Harper? Here's why they shouldn't