Results for the Final Vote are in and St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese will be joining the National League roster for next week’s 2012 MLB All Star Game in Kansas City. Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper finished third in voting.
The Nationals’ PR team made a furious push for much of the day today through Twitter for Harper to get the final votes needed to catch Freese and Atlanta’s Michael Bourn, who finished second, but it ended up to no avail. As it turns out, according to Mark Zuckerman, the organization actually preferred that Harper not make the team.
Harper has started all but one game since making his MLB Debut on April 28th and while he’s only 19 and seemingly full of a never-ending supply of energy, the four days of time off might be a good thing before the season’s second half begins. Harper is hitting .280/.354/.478 on the year through 260 plate appearances – a respectable line regardless of the fact that he’s just a rookie – but he’s tailed off over the past two weeks (he’s hitting just .259/.298/.389), perhaps a sign that he’s still adjusting to the demanding schedule of the Major Leagues. Maybe it’s nothing more than a simple slump, but let’s face it, giving the kid a break can’t possible be a bad thing.
Harper still might be asked to join the NL squad at the All Star Game as an injury replacement, but for now he won’t be making his first trip to play in the Midsummer Classic. Given how well he’s performed in the Major Leagues so far and the general expectation that he’ll continue to develop into an even better player in the coming years, it seems safe to assume that he’ll get his chance in the future.