Many were predicting that 2014 would be Bryce Harper‘s big breakout season. After two seasons of putting up solid numbers, this was supposed to be the year where the 22-year old firmly established himself as one of baseball’s stars. Now fans might have to wait until later this season or maybe even next for the outfielder to really take off.
Harper is of course going to be on the shelf for the foreseeable future after thumb surgery. Initially he was just placed on the 15-day DL with a bad thumb, but now an operation to repair a torn ligament will extended his time away from baseball.
The Washington Nationals are currently four games back in the NL East and without one of their top hitters, that’s where they’re likely to stay.
All is certainly not lost without Harper. He’s just one piece on a talented team and let’s face it — he wasn’t doing that great prior to his injury.
Overall, this is not a crushing blow to the OF or his team. He’ll be back and the Nationals should remain near the playoff picture during his absence. Luckily the baseball season takes forever and there’s plenty of time for everyone in Washington to get back on track before September rolls around.
As for that huge breakout season from Harper that everyone’s been waiting for, there’s always 2015. If he fails to take off again next year, then fans will really begin to wonder if he’s destined for long-term stardom.