The rookie phenom that is 19 year old Bryce Harper will continue his whirl wind season by going to the All Star Game. Harper was not originally slated to attend the game which takes place this week in Kansas City. Harper will be taking the spot of injured Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton. Harper will be the 3rd youngest player to play in the MLB All Star Game. While Harper will be playing off of the bench the eyes of all of the fans will be on him for sure.
Harper has had a solid start to his MLB career since his debut in April. He is an excellent outfielder fielder with a rocket arm. His offensive play has been very good for his experience level. Harper has a batting average of .283, hit 8 home runs and had 25 RBI’s and scored 43 runs in just 62 games for the 1st place Washington Nationals.
Harper going deep at Fenway Park earlier this season.
Harper came in with a lot of hype and has been living up to it. He has displayed a maturity on and off the field, the later many thought he would be able to do. He has shown a lot of personality and has a charisma that a lot of players don’t have. He has created great moments already in his young career, like when he hit a home run in the historic Fenway Park during his first game on that field. He is in the right spot now to really display his skills in front of a national audience. Harper is a strong contender for Rookie of the Year in the National League.
Harper will probably get at least 1 at bat and play 2 innings or so. Many players have created unforgettable moments in All Star Games. I have a feeling Bryce Harper will have a chance to make one of those moments. When he gets he will more than likely take advantage of it. If Harper continues to play the way he has been and develop into the player that he has been billed to be than this is just the beginning.
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It has been an interesting season for the Miami Marlins so far. This team had a very new feel to it going into the season. A new name came first, no longer are they the Florida Marlins they are to be know now as the Miami Marlins. The new retractable roof stadium located in downtown Miami known as Marlins Park. The new manager Ozzie Guillen, who was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the off season. Also new were big time free agents in Short Stop Jose Reyes, Starter Mark Buehrle and Closer Heath Bell. The team had not acquired free agents of this caliber since the 1997 season. But the newest thing for the Marlins was hope of contending in the N.L. East and winning their first ever division title.
The Marlins new home, Marlins Park
The Marlins finished April with just 8 wins and 14 loses. Many of those loses were to N.L. East foes the Phillies, Nationals and Mets. The Fish ended April at the bottom of the division. Not much seemed to go right for the Fish in April. Manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended by the team for a few games due to some ridiculous comments about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The team also was not preforming well on the field. Their production on the offensive side of the ball was horrendous. Stars such as Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez not playing very well consistently. Their young power hitter Giancarlo Stanton had no power to speak of. The guy that was supposed to be saving games for the team Heath Bell was blowing leads and games left and right. The team was in need of a restart when April ended.
They got their fresh start in May and boy did they take advantage of it. The Marlins went on a road trip where they swept the Giants, Padres and took 2 out of 3 games against the Astros. The fielding got better, the pitching was awesome and the bats came alive in May. Giancarlo Stanton had an incredible month of May where he hit 12 home runs and had 30 RBI’s. Stanton even had a walk off grand slam in a home game against the Mets. Pitcher Ricky Nolasco got his 5th win of the season. Carlos Zambrano the loose cannon from the Chicago Cubs has pitched well and not lost his mind yet. The Marlins also played a lot better against division rivals. They took 2 out of 3 games against the Phillies, split a 2 game series with the Braves. The Marlins finished the final series of May by sweeping the 1st place Nationals in a 3 game series. The Fish had a record of 21 wins and just 8 losses for the month of May.
Marlins power hitter Giancarlo Stanton
(photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The Marlins begin the month of June with a 29-22 record. It took the Marlins 2 month to make it to first place but they did it. They hold a tie with the Nationals for 1st place in the N.L. East. June is not going to be an easy month schedule wise. They will play 5 games total against the Phillies and 3 games against the Braves. The biggest challenge could be when they play a total of 6 games against their inter state rival Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays are also tied for 1st place in their division and have played really well as a team this year. So that series could be a tough one for the Fish. The Marlins are hoping to finish June the way they are coming into it, very hot.
The rest of the season is going to be the real test of course. The Marlins were looking bad in April but impressed in May. The Fish play in the toughest division in baseball but have held their own so far. I believe the Fish have a very good chance of taking their first division title. This is a really good ball club that is finally playing as a team and are clicking on all cylinders. The prospects look very good for the rest of the summer but we will know for sure what this team is made of by September.
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Tagged baseball, bat, braves, division, east, Florida, giancarlo stanton, glove, Hanley Ramirez, heath bell, home run, marlins, marlins park, mets, Miami, MLB, national league, nationals, Ozzie Guillen, philles, record, schedule, tickets, title, world series