A Natural Phenom for 2011

General : : General
Perfect Game Staff        
Published: Friday, June 27, 2008

We covered both the USA JO events, one in Florida and one in Arizona.

Usually this is a good look at some young up and coming talent to add to our follow database. Lots of outstanding players that we then follow for the next few years. Our guys will be doing some reports on the best players we saw at those two events as the summer unfolds. However, once in a great while something unexpected happens that warrants our undivided and immediate attention. A player like a Justin Upton who pops up as being way above the crowd. That player immediately gets recognized as the prize jewel of his class and in those kids like Upton and Delmon Young they maintained that lofty position until they became the first pick of the draft.

This year a player joins that group of young phenoms. Bryce Harper just finished his 9th grade year at Las Vegas HS in Las Vegas. He is our number one ranked 2011 and it would not be a stretch to say he might also be the top ranked player in all of high school, any class! He truly is a rare talent that possesses the entire package.

Here is a brief scouting report on young 15 year old Bryce Harper who played with the San Diego Show in the Arizona JO. We will see him a lot over the next couple weeks.

Our first look at Bryce Harper happened in a small PG Showcase for pre high school age kids in Southern California. Most of those attending that event were Freshman and Sophomores in high school. However one young 6th grade boy from Las Vegas showed up. We were very concerned about someone that age competing with kids much older. Our fears were a waste of time because the young 6th grader was by far the best prospect at the event. He hit two homeruns during the game and showed MLB average skills behind the plate. He also stood out as a shortstop and even pitched well. But perhaps the most amazing thing was that this young boy had something you can’t teach, he had a feel for the game that many lack even at the professional level. You knew he was going to be very special. We didn’t grade him simply due to his young age. We would have had to give a 12 year old a 10. That was our very first Bryce Harper sighting and he just continues to keep getting better and better.

Bryce Harper as a young 12 year old

Bryce Harper is now a strong athletic 6’3/205 L/R catcher from Las Vegas HS. He already has a MLB body with MLB tools. He has the ability to play any position on the field and his arm could make him an easy first round pitcher. His weakest present tool is his running ability, but he is an easy MLB average runner who has time to improve in that area. His running instincts rank a big plus. As a left handed hitter he hits with unbelievable raw power to all fields with wood and has outstanding hitting mechanics and creates serious bat speed all while staying in complete control. He appears to be a very special, once in a life time, type hitting prospect with upper deck power at age 15. As a catcher he is quick, flexible and athletic with good feet and an unbelievable arm. Better yet he seems to really love the game and has that natural feel for baseball that is very rare these days. His athleticism and other talents would allow him to standout at any position. However, he certainly seems to have the makeup to be a great professional catcher. Understood that this is high praise for someone who has yet to turn 16 years old, but this is far from a normal 15 year old kid. This one truly is a phenom with the entire package including championship caliber makeup! The word “Natural” comes to mind! Often we see tools guys who don’t play up to those tools and real players who lack the necessary tools. Harper is a highest level tools guy with highest level playability!

We won’t be the only ones to recognize Bryce Harper. The whole baseball world is going to be hearing a lot about him in years to come. One Southern California scout claims Harper would have gone early in the first round had he been eligible this past year. The young kid will have to live with a lot of pressure that goes along with all that praise, but our guess is that he will chew it up and spit it out! Amateur baseball fans and pro fans too, remember the name… Bryce Harper! You’re in for a treat!

Harper will be playing with the San Diego Show in both upcoming WWBA events 17U/18U in Marietta Georgia the first two weeks of July.
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