Bryce Harper's 19-year-old greatness

They're still playing that nail-biter in Detroit, but that didn't stop the Nationals and Cardinals from starting their Division Series in St. Louis.

In the top of the first, Adam Wainwright had little trouble with the top of Washington's order, striking out both Jason Werth and Ryan Zimmerman. Wainwright retired Bryce Harper, too, but that won't stop us from trumpeting Harper's talents.

In nine days, Harper turns 20. While he did make the National League's All-Star team this summer, it's probably fair to suggest that Harper was overshadowed in baseball by Mike Trout's incredible season, and in D.C. and environs by the controversy surrounding Stephen Strasburg.

But here are the 19-year-old players in major-league history who finished with more Wins Above Replacement than Bryce Harper:

Yeah. There aren't any. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Harper's 5.0 WAR were tops all-time among 19-year-old players, well ahead of Mel Ott (1928), Edgar Renteria (1996), Ken Griffey (1989) and Ty Cobb (1906). So while Harper's not an MVP candidate like Trout, he already looks like a pretty good bet for the Hall of Fame.

Meanwhile, back in Game 1, Gio Gonzalez issued a two-out walk to Matt Holliday, but retired Allen Craig on a fly to center field to end the first inning. So we're still scoreless in St. Louis.

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