Newark Bears C/1B/DH, Gerard Haran, has very quietly become #3 in batting average and #3 in slugging percentage on a team that is full of talent. The Bears organization is widely known as an Independent League team that truly matches up better against MLB farm talent than its Atlantic League counterparts. They were the 2007 Atlantic League Champions and look to repeat in 2008, currently sitting in first place in their division with a 2.5 game lead over second-place Somerset. In his limited at bats, Gerard has been lifting his team to the top.
Going into this season with Newark, Gerard was told that he would be sitting on the bench more often than taking swings due to the fact that the team was bringing a lot of established players back from last year. Because of that unique situation, Gerard has only played in thirteen games, which is tied for second lowest for a position player. In fact, the guy that he is tied with in games played and the only guy that he beat in games played are both sitting with a batting average of .238. Gerard even has the same amount of RBIs in 13 games (11) as Bobby Hill, who has seen action in 28 games. So what gives?
Either the Newark Bears need to wake up and smell what the New Jersey native is cooking or an MLB team needs to snatch this kid up before he reaches his prime. Last night, the Newark Bears beat the Lancaster Barnstormers 8-3. Gerard brought his home-field crowd some excitement in the fifth inning, when he blasted a three-run homerun (his second homerun in 41 total at bats on the season).
Haran was once Baseball America’s best prospect for position players and third best player overall for Division III schools. He caught the eyes of Willie Randolph and Omar Minaya when he received the College Baseball Player of the Year award in 2007. The St. Louis Cardinals did not give him enough at bats to prove himself in his short stint with the organization. Which MLB team will step up and allow the slugger to show his skill at the plate and behind the plate?