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Now in left . . . Brendan Harris?

Hey, it's not my idea!

We Natospherians say some crazy crunk about young Brendan; why, we might love the guy as much as the GM hates him. But, with Professor Bacon as my witness, I can't recall anyone ever dreaming Harris can handle an outfield corner position. Yet, that is the precisely what Paul Swydan of Baseball Prospectus recommends today---that a 25 year-old 'tweener second/third baseman who slugged .417 in the Pacific Coast League this past season should be manning left field for a major league club.

How on earth did Swydan come to make that recommendation?

Darned if I know, but the central proposition of his article (or the part that dealt with the Nats, at least) was pretty sound, in my estimation: Marlon Anderson, who signed a two-year deal to serve as a pinch-hitter extraordinaire, does not represent Jim Bowden's shrewdist move this offseason and potentially limits the Nats' roster flexibility. Swydan strikes me as a competent analyst, and his look at the Nats' bench options is valuable for its broad strokes of analysis. However, the article also reveals a particular weakness I have perceived in Baseball Prospectus' team-by-team analyses: the writers apparently read the work of the teams' beat writers only minimally, if at all, prior to submission.

Perhaps I should not generalize. I suppose I can speak fairly only of BP's coverage of the Nats, but this article---as fine as the analysis was on a more detached level---serves as an object lesson. Among other things, it:

I realize that the preceding might sound like a nitpicky laundry list. That's not my intention, though, and I could point out other things, too---like Terrmel Sledge hasn't just "had injury problems," but instead suffered a devastatingly serious hamstring injury.

But I seek not to nitpick. Instead, I surmise there's a reason why a writer would even entertain ten minutes of his time noodling the idea of Brendan Harris being given any significant shot in this organization, much less in left field. And, not to be harsh about it, I offer the reason is that the writer---while writing with the best of intentions---does not know much about the team.