Million Dollar Question – What Is Matt Williams Doing With Bryce Harper??

Million Dollar Question – What Is Matt Williams Doing With Bryce Harper??

The first week of the baseball season always brings a lot of afternoon games to the schedule.  And that allows me the chance to listen to games on my MLB app during the day while doubling-up and watching games on TV at night.

When choosing a game to listen to, I either look for a stellar pitching match-up or for a game that features a dynamic player that can affect the game at the plate, on the base paths, or while playing defense.

One of those players in Bryce Harper, a ’30-YOC’ favorite!

And what Matt Williams and the Nationals are doing with Harper is driving me nuts.  The constant back and forth, and up and down, of his position in the batting order is doing nothing for his ability to get consistent looks.  Pitchers pitch differently to the guy batting 1st or 2nd versus the guy hitting 5th or 6th.  And as a result, Harper is not hitting the ball the way that he can.  He is being too aggressive and swinging at bad pitches.

Here is where Bryce has hit in the first four games of the season:

Game 1 – 5th, 1-for-4
Game 2 – 6th, 0-for-4
Game 3 – 2nd, 1-for-5
Game 4 – 6th, 1-for-4

Seriously, how would anybody do well in this situation?  It reminds me of how the Marlins treated Cameron Maybin during his first year with the team (yes, I know is not as skilled as Harper).  These young players need consistency.  They need confidence builders.  They need help from their managers.  They need to be put into the best possible position to succeed and help their teams win.  This constant shuffling is not the proper way to get a player infused into a team’s offense – if his role is changing on a daily basis, no consistency can be formed.

And I do not believe that this is the right approach.  Not at all.

So that leads up to tonight’s ‘Million Dollar Question’ – What Is Matt Williams Doing With Bryce Harper??

You know my stance.  Now tell me what you think.


bryce harper

11 responses to “Million Dollar Question – What Is Matt Williams Doing With Bryce Harper??

  1. I think he’s just trying to find somewhere safe to stick him while he gets his timing back. At least that’s what the guys on MLB network radio have been saying. It would make more sense to me that they just stick him in the 6 spot until things are under control then move him up to 3 or 4. Who knows though, I’m not in the business. haha.

    • Zeb- If that is the case, than stop shifting him around so much. I’m with you – leave him in one spot until he works his way out of it. And for that, I say the lower in the lineup the better…

  2. Williams is just trying to find out where he needs him the most. Getting on base in the 2nd spot or protecting Ryan Zimmerman in the 6th spot. I would put him in the 2nd spot. Harper is an outstanding talent. But it’s not always gonna be easy. He’s struggling cuz pitchers had made adjustments against him. He’ll adjust back and get rolling. Season is still early

  3. I believe statistics show since Harper has been a National, the team scores more with him in the lead-off spot. However, with his power potential and upside, you don’t want him batting behind the pitcher spot for 3 out of his four at-bats.

    Perhaps he should be between Zimmerman and LaRoche to decrease the odds of double plays. I’ve never been a fan of having two slow guys back to back if avoidable.

    I actually think Harper’s willingness to move around is positive. Alfonso Soriano was so stubborn to move out of the lead-spot during most of his tenure with the Cubs.

  4. I think the Nationals strongest lineup is with Harper batting lead off, but maybe Williams sees something different than what we are seeing and that’s why Harper is jumping all over the lineup.

  5. Kirk Gibson likes to make a lot of batting order changes. I wonder if he picked that up from him?

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