Washington Nationals News: Why Bryce Harper should not be stealing more bases
Today’s District Daily features stories on Reynaldo Lopez’ rise in the Washington Nationals’ farm system and why Bryce Harper should not be stealing more bases, despite the fact that he’s getting often.
Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.
In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg writes a very interesting piece on why he believes Nationals slugger Bryce Harper should not be stealing more bases.
As Greenberg writes in his article, opposing pitchers continue to walk Harper. Barry Bonds, who was also walked a lot in his career, recently suggested that Harper needs to steal more bases to help his team win. According to Greenberg, Bonds is wrong.
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The Nationals, Greenberg writes, would benefit more from a runner on first than from a runner attempting to steal second, since getting caught stealing second base greatly reduces a team’s chances of scoring in a given inning. Harper has been a decent base stealer in his career, but he hasn’t been good enough to warrant trying to steal second base on a regular basis.
In fact, according to Greenberg, Harper has actually cost the team more runs by trying to steal throughout his career. As Greenberg writes, the better solution to Harper getting walked is to make sure that the lineup behind him is productive and takes advantage of Harper being on first base.
Also in today’s Daily, the Post’s James Wagner discusses how Reynaldo Lopez — one of the Nationals’ most touted young pitchers — became one of the game’s hardest-throwing pitching prospects.
Be sure to check out the articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.
How Reynaldo Lopez became a hard-throwing Nationals prospect
(James Wagner, Washington Post)
Although from starkly different parts of the world, Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito have become friends over the past three years, teammates at short-season Auburn, low-Class A Hagerstown, high-Class A Potomac and now Class AA Harrisburg. When they line up for the national anthem before games, Lopez sometimes stands near Giolito. Both top pitching prospects have fastballs that have been clocked in the upper 90s, but Lopez is generously listed at 6 feet and Giolito perhaps conservatively at 6 feet 6.
Still, Lopez mutters to himself: “Man, this guy is big.”
Flame throwers come in all sizes and walks of life. Giolito has always been tall, grew up in Los Angeles in a Hollywood family, was a first-round pick and signed for $2.925 million. Lopez, on the other hand, grew up in San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, didn’t sign with the Nationals until he was 18 (later than many top prospects), accepted a signing bonus of $17,000 and had to develop into the high-octane pitcher he is now. Read full article here.
Barry Bonds is wrong: Bryce Harper should not be stealing bases
(Neil Greenberg, Washington Post)
Pitchers aren’t pitching to Bryce Harper as often as they used to. And why would they? The Nationals’ superstar is coming off a season in which he was unanimously voted as the league’s most valuable player and is currently batting .256 with 11 home runs and a 1.034 OPS, creating runs at a rate that is 59 percent higher than average (159 wRC+) after factoring in league and park effects.
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Instead, Harper has been walked in 25.3 percent of his plate appearances, the highest by far of any hitter qualifying for the batting title this season. That prompted Barry Bonds, who was intentionally walked more than anyone else in baseball history, to suggest Harper needs to be more aggressive at getting himself into scoring position. Read full article here.