Good Morning Natstown 2/26/15

Almost as good a start to your day as a steak, egg, and tomato bagel. On the docket today: Bryce Harper, his ring, and plenty of linkage.

Bryce Harper is ready because tonight, in this very ring, he is going to take your head and drive it straight through the canvas for the 1...2...3. That's right Bryce Harper is confident and ready and the Max Scherzer signing made him wonder where his ring is and of course because Bryce Harper is perceived as an ego maniac with off the field issues he was met with a chorus of boos from the people that already dislike him. Bryce Harper will be a fan favorite on the day he wins MVP, but that might not even be enough. Has Alex Ovechkin ever done enough to satisfy?

We could talk all day about Bryce Harper and I'm sure we will on multiple occasions this season. In other non-Harper news for the Nationals everyone is in camp and it is about time to get this show on the road. By that I mean the Nats are going to play a month of meaningless games hoping that everyone that is injured can heal in time for Opening Day and anyone not already injured doesn't end up that way. It is a very exciting time and I can tell you I'm ready to watch any baseball game they put in front of me.

Similarity scores are one of the fun parts of Baseball Reference but that is all they are, fun. Neil Greenberg on his Fancy Stats blog has more than fun with them and declares Bryce Harper the next Dwight Evans. As you'll notice in the post itself Greenberg points out how the similarity score has changed every season and if it can change after one season in a negative manner it can also change in a positive one. While it is fun to try and project out Bryce Harper's entire career let's remember he is still just 22 and one of the big failings of projections is dealing with injuries. It wouldn't be if players just missed time but some injuries aren't bad enough for the DL and Bryce Harper's stats from the past two seasons reflect those of someone playing through injuries and therefore are going to dump out projections lower than what can be expected of a fully healthy Bryce Harper season.

More on Bryce Harper from Chris Johnson at reporting that Harper is ready for 2015 and is a lean mean baseball killing machine.

Mike Rizzo plays things close to the vest and reading this Jon Heyman story at CBS Sports was the first I'd heard about Yunel Escobar's misgivings about playing second base. Shortstop is the glory position and it is understandable why he'd want to stay there, but it sounds like Mike Rizzo and Matt Williams convinced them playing second in 2015 is what's best for business.

Anthony Rendon is going to play most if not all of 2015 at his natural position and in preparation for that he kept things simple this offseason. Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

The Nats are the pre-season favorite to win the NL East and to do so in convincing fashion, but in order to do that they are going to have to deal with a monster. The Nationals are going to have to slay the beast that is Giancarlo Stanton and if you doubt that he is the king of this jungle then check him out in body paint on the cover of SI.

Lastly, in case you missed the announcement yesterday, Citizens of Natstown has added Alyssa Wolice to the staff!

Until tomorrow Natstown...

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