Many of our authors make a habit of speaking to scouts and other talent evaluators in order to bring you the best baseball information available. Not all of the tidbits gleaned from those conversations make it into our articles, but we don't want them to go to waste. Instead, we'll be collecting them in a regular feature called "What Scouts Are Saying," which will be open to participation from the entire BP staff and include quotes about minor leaguers and major leaguers alike.
Nationals OF Bryce Harper: "He's only 21 years old and there is a lot of talent there, but we are starting to reach the point where there may be cause for concern. He has not had a good year, and his hitting mechanics are all screwed up. It's as if he is almost jumping at the ball. He comes out of his swing so hard and fast. He plays out of control all the time, in every facet of his game, and it's clear he has become a distraction to Matt Williams. It would not surprise me if they end up trading Harper for a young arm and hold on to Denard Span."
Twins Double-A OF Byron Buxton "(Prior to his injury.) He's is getting his timing back. The last few games he's looked significantly better than he did last week."
Yankees High-A OF Aaron Judge: "Judge is a beast. I had him top out at 116 mph off the bat. He destroys left-handed breaks, and you cannot beat him upstairs either. He eats any fastball and mistake in the zone. Level swing that is not forced, power to all fields, overall hitting tool is approaching a 6. He is a very good athlete for his size, moves well in all phases. One thing to check on … has he adjusted to quality breaks from the RHP and has he learned to stay back when either side pulls the string?"
Royals High-A LHP Sean Manaea: "Something to watch is his ability to hide the ball against RHH. They do not chase him as often. I did not think his break was crisp enough for professional RHH to be enticed, as they would easily lay off it out of the zone. Sometimes he would let the break hang trying to pound inside on RHH, thus floating in the wheelhouse. But he has good plane and life on the fastball that he gets leverage on and can keep it down. He should be a decent groundball-producing arm."
Orioles DSL RHP Ofelky Peralta: "Funky mechanics are a nice way of saying he cannot locate his pitches at all."
Padres Double-A OF Hunter Renfroe: "He's showing big tools. There's easy plus power, plus arm, and he shows the ability to swipe a bag. The hit tool progression is going to determine whether he is just an everyday guy or an all-star."
Eagle's Landing Christian Academy (Georgia) OF Dazmon Cameron: "The perception being perpetuated by some out there that Daz Cameron has gone backwards is completely misguided. He was being touted as a 1/1 candidate from his sophomore year of high school onward, and while there wasn't a more obvious player at the time. There's a reason very few scouts will make such proclamations that far out. He has developed at a steady rate and is still clearly one of the best prospects in the class. If the draft were today he'd be off the board in the first half of the first round. The fact that a couple of other players have emerged as top of the draft talents takes nothing away from what Cameron is, and those doubting him right now will be proven wrong come June."
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Maybe he thinks that the .233/.324/.372 that Harper has put up in the 149 PA since coming back from mid-season thumb surgery is his true talent level, and that the previous 1,185 PA don't really count.
I don't know. Scouts can believe some crazy $#!%.
I'd bet there's at least one scout out there who isn't bullish on Clayton Kershaw's near future. Opinions are gonna vary.
Thanks, BP. I can't get enough of this stuff.
Or that that "young pitcher" happens to be Chris Sale + more.
It really depends what the Nats think about him. They'll need to trade him by 2017-2018. And their window is from now to 2017. If you think they could get a package that is worth more to them in the short term, I could understand the logic.
Desmond is gone in 2016.
Doug Fister is gone in 2016
Zimmermann is gone in 2016.
Strasburg is gone in 2017.
Go Gonzalez is gone in 2017
Jayson Werth is old
Ryan Zimmerman is injuried all the time.
They stop receiving revenue sharing in 2016.
The Nationals should probably try to go for it in 2015-2016. If they have concerns about Harper's health,makeup, or development, they could trade Harper for a Stanton or Sale that is more of a sure thing to provide value in the 2015-2017 seasons.
I'm not saying it would be a good move, it would be very risky and you'd look foolish if Harper performs. But if Harper disappoints and the pieces you got back for him bring you to the playoffs for a few years and maybe a flag, it could be worth it. I think the Justin Upton comp and maybe a Jason Heyward ones are good. They are very very good players that looked like MVPs. I love Harper and he is still young, but he isn't an MVP yet. As we are seeing with Trout, getting older might not be the good thing as defense gets worse and speed disappears. Harper could be Giancarlo Stanton in two or you could have Giancarlo Stanton for two years.
Did they know something that nobody eles knew?