Is It Fair to Compare Bryce Harper to Other Players?

By Rich MacLeod

Many believe that Washington Nationals mega-phenom outfielder Bryce Harper could be the next great baseball player, but my question is “Is it fair to compare him to past or current players?”

Fans, as well as members of the media, have been drooling over potential superstar Bryce Harper for years now, and when he made his major league debut earlier this season, that mania has only increased. Not only has he already been compared to current baseball stars, I’ve even heard members of the MLB Network compare him to none other than hall-of-fame legend Roberto Clemente. In my opinion, some people may be going overboard with those types of comparisons, to which there are many. The problem is, when you compare a 19-year-old kid to baseball’s legends, it’s hard to back it up. Not only that, but when I or many others have put his stats aside with either other rookies, who are generally a bit older, or any other current players I have been scrutinized, ridiculed and was even once told to “get real bro”. People have told me that this guy is only 19, everyone else who has better stats has an advantage because they’re older than him or that comparing him to a 24-year-old rookie (who shall remain nameless) is “insulting”. Well folks, you can’t have it both ways.

It is clear that Bryce Harper appears to be a star in the making at just the age of 19 but if he can be compared to MLB royalty than I think other people are allowed to just compare his numbers with those of other players. That’s not to say that either player is better, baseball is more about the numbers, but it’s not fair to get ripped apart for comparing him to anyone else. To save anyone the pain, maybe, at least for now, lets stop with the comparisons and just be happy that we get to enjoy watching this kid do something new every day. It’s obvious that this guy belongs in the bigs. I don’t think it’s fair to him or to anyone else to compare him to any Clemente-type players, at least not yet.

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