The MLB draft is coming up, and there is one particular player that has been focused on more than any other leading up to the National’s second number one pick in as many years. Much like Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper is supposed to be one of those “cant miss” prospects due to his ability to hit for power and average. He has been featured in Sports Illustrated and in just about every baseball publication,and his cards are the only ones to even rival (or sometimes eclipse) the value of Strasburg’s from 2010 Chrome.
Harper was recently slated to be developed as a more valuable outfielder instead of the Catcher most scouts expected him to be drafted as, something that should do a lot for his card values. As a five tool player, he should end up as a combination of Joe Mauer and Evan Longoria, but that is only if he lives up to the massive expectations placed on his head. As of now, the hype machine is a whirling dervish swirling about, and his prices will most likely jump when he is splashed all over every page of every baseball site once again.
The big news should be announced shortly after, as it is likely that he will be included as a USA auto in both Topps Chrome this october and as a featured card in 2010 Bowman Draft Picks. Like Strasburg, his prices are so high that buying now would be completely ludicrous, and after the draft pick is announced, I would laugh at anyone hitting the BINs.
The one drawback to all of this is that unlike former number one picks like Mauer and Longoria, Harper is widely believed to be a hothead with entitlement issues. He also has Scott Boras as his agent, which may lead to some incompatibility issues if things get blown out of proportion. When looking at the production of his future compadres in the bigs, he sure has a lot to live up to, and its going to be interesting to see if he becomes the next Ryan Braun or the next Todd Van Poppel. With the prices that people are paying for his cards, there are going to be a lot of sad pandas out there if something doesnt go the way it is expected to.