The 2013 fantasy baseball season is just around the corner and with that, owners around the country are beginning to think about who to pick for their teams this year. I believe one player to keep an eye on is Bryce Harper. Harper may suffer through a sophomore slump in his second year in the league, and that should bring some concern to owners. Harper is expected to be a high draft pick and if that slump occurs, it could spell disaster for a lot of owners.
Harper is in line to hit around .270 with 20-25 home runs and 80-90 RBIs for the Washington Nationals and while those numbers sound good, I fear that most of those numbers may come early in the season. Once teams have seen Harper at least once, they are going to have a much better idea of how to attack him at the plate. That fact scares me as an owner – if Harper can’t make the proper adjustments quickly, I would be very careful about when to take Harper.
If I was drafting today, I would pick Harper in the fourth round between picks 40-45. If he hits those projections, it will make his draft status worthwhile, but I would pay very close attention to how Harper does in spring training. If Harper is having early issues, then I would drop Harper a round or even two rounds. There are going to be fantasy owners who want to take Harper earlier than the fourth round after seeing the things Mike Trout did last season, but I don’t think it is worth making that big of a leap.