Two of the major reasons for the Giants success this year are the Brandons -- Belt and Crawford. Crawford is 28; Belt 27. Both are products of the Giants farm system, two time World Series winners and regulars since 2012.
Harper's success in the face of so much pressure is an impressive accomplishment, but it is also part of a broader trend where top draft picks are now more likely than ever, injury notwithstanding, to become impact players.
Expanding the size of the All-Star Game roster, using a designated hitter and tinkering with how the roster is selected are all ways Major League Baseball has tried to ensure that the All-Star Game remains interesting for fans. These innovations have not achieved that goal.
The team's 98 win season last year was no fluke. While the Nats made a big off-season acquisition by trading for Gio Gonzalez, one can really attribute their success to the big contributions by former first round picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.