While holding the first pick in the MLB Draft is a somewhat dubious honor, to quote Crash Davis from Bull Durham, it does provide a team ’ the Twins this year ’ the opportunity to help turn around their organization’s fortunes.
So far this spring, three names have been linked with the Twins’ top-pick: Hunter Greene, Kyle Wright, and Brendan McKay. The first two would be solid choices; the third would not. More on that in a bit.
He made seven All-Star teams with the Tigers before being traded to the Phillies following the 1963 season. He crafted a perfect game Father’s Day in 1964, the first perfect game for a National League pitcher in 84 years.
Or there’s the option for Harper to shine more brightly and end his career more spectacularly. Kevin Mitchell comes to mind, the bombastic star who won an MVP at 27 but played just 264 games in the majors after his 30th birthday. For peak value Hall of Fame candidates, Mitchell ranks among the best offensive ones in baseball history, though seemingly few people are making his case.
Similar things can be said about Fred Lynn, who had a .308 batting average through his age-28 season, but averaged 114 games thereafter. Every year where I (got) to 140 games, I had really good years, Lynn recently told Sporting News. I just needed to play more games. That’s all. I’ve never in my life done poorly if I played a lot, just never have.
Harper’s logged just 140 games in a season just twice so far, though he was an MVP one of those years.