Five to ten years ago, talking heads in baseball may have been calling for 24-year-old phenom Trea Turner to be sent down. After all, the NC State product is hitting just .236 in the first month of the season. Forced into the leadoff spot following Adam Eaton’s absence, it has been frustrating to see him unable to produce base hits. Yet there he is halfway through April, sporting a .368 OBP thanks to a 17.2% walk rate. While nowhere near a guy like Bryce Harper (27%), this is a rate on par with players like Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Judge, or Paul Goldschmidt. Essentially, we are talking about a walk rate prototypical of a slugger, not a leadoff man like Dee Gordon (3.9% career BB%), Ender Inciarte (6.7%), or Adam Eaton (8.2%).
(Update: We regret to inform you that the video was a marketing stunt. Maybe next time, kids.)
Bryce Harper has very good hair. Our compliments to his mom, who is clearly responsible for the golden thread growing out of our unseated MVP’s head. When his baseball career winds down in 237 years, and before he is inducted as the grand master of the Hall of Fame, he could probably have a long and fruitful career as a (hopefully not-creepy) Johnny Bravo impersonator.
In retrospect, riding camels might not have been a good substitute for working on the fundamentals. This a common refrain surrounding the Washington Nationals’ 4-5 start, including streaks of four wins to open the season followed by a five-game losing run. Still, not all is lost (Nats Reddit disagrees, of course), as there have been some positives, most namely that it is still so early that Mother Nature has yet to realize the season has started. Let’s go over a few of the important points thus far.