Baseball messiah Bryce Harper was the big draw at Sunday's Aflac All-America Game in San Diego, where he performed the miracle of turning five at-bats into five outs.
Baseball America's Dave Perkin was there and reports that Harper's troubles in San Diego weren't anything new:
Bryce Harper (Las Vegas HS), the 16-year-old catching phenom, was the marquee attraction at the Aflac game, and while he showed his premium defensive tools, his offensive performance was underwhelming. He grounded out twice and struck out three times, rifling his batting helmet into the dugout after his third whiff.
Over the past several weeks, scouts have been whispering that Harper was off of his game. Those suspicions were validated in San Diego. He could not catch up to a decent fastball and was badly fooled by every curve, flailing and missing badly. Harper's swing, sound previously, has gone backwards. He is far too long on the back end, he is lunging and diving at pitches, and his timing is drastically inconsistent.
That's OK. Even Chosen People slump from time to time. If I recall, the first Chosen One struggled for 40 days and 40 nights.