blogging Phillies baseball and the home of Phillies Talk Podcast by Rich Baxter
blogging Phillies baseball and the home of Phillies Talk Podcast by Rich Baxter

Harper to debut on Saturday with Phillies

Harper launches one in preparation for the real thing on Saturday

A new era will take shape tomorrow for the Phillies, as the debut of Bryce Harper is expected for a Spring Training game. Harper’s signing was covered by the press as perhaps the biggest signing of the off-season and the Phillies just happened to be the team to end up with him.

I was very doubtful that Harper would end up here, for one thing he’ll be staying in the National League East and playing his old team upwards of 19 times this season. Last year the Phillies faltered badly against their NL East opponents. They finished up the season with a losing series record against the NL East winner, Atlanta Braves, with a 7-12 record, and the Washington Nationals with a 8-11 series record. This must improve if the Phils are to to better this season. The Phils even ended up with an 8-11 record against the NY Mets.

Last year, the Phillies recorded a blazing first half record of 53-42, then the wheels fell off in the second half of the season for some unknown reason. Can the addition of Bryce Harper improve on this for the Phils? The Phillies organization thinks so and sunk a ton of money into Harper long term assuming that will happen.

What can we expect from Bryce Harper this season? The teams that he has been on in Washington were very close to doing great things but it just didn’t happen with them. There was talk about Dusty Baker possibly being a reason for the ‘can’t get over the hump’ ways of the Nats, and the previous managers, Davey Johnson, and even Matt Williams. In the end it was the players on the field though, and Harper was a part of that.

Harper is projected to bat .265 this season, I hope that number will be higher. The HR projection is 27 and 87 RBI for this year. That number would be fine, but again I think there should be more. We’ll see what happens. Harper is one of those rare players that was brought up at a young age. He’s been in the league for 7 seasons and is still only 26 years old, he turns 27 on October 16th.

Harper is no Mike Trout, let’s not forget that. He’s an above average player that can do a lot of things, maybe he’ll be the catalyst that the Phillies need to get them on an even offensive field and get them to be consistent. Maybe he’ll be the leader in the clubhouse, the Phillies have needed someone like that as they really didn’t have a real leader with experience. Bryce Harper even did a little scouting on his own and probably didn’t mean anything by it, but ended up in trouble with the MLB with his comments about the Phils possibly adding Trout in the future.

The new era of the Phillies starts tomorrow, with Bryce Harper, I am kind of happy about it, even though if I were the owner of the Phils, I probably wouldn’t have signed Harper for that much money. I am not though, just happily typing my opinions out at this blog and a longtime Phillies fan. What do you think about the signing and the future of the Phillies with the Bryce Harper era? Send me your thoughts via the Speakpipe link! Or type me a comment about it here!

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