Monday marked a new milestone in the career of the 19 year old phenom by the name of Bryce Harper. His solo shot in the 3rd inning helped power the Nats to an 8-5 victory over the San Diego Padres. Harper took a 2-1 pitch from Tim Stauffer and parked it into the grass backstop 402 feet away.
To top it off, Harper is the youngest player since 1998 to hit a big league homer. Appearing in only his 15th game in the bigs since his debut on April 28th against the Dodgers, Harper is quickly proving he has what it takes to stay a while. He was pulled up from the minors several weeks back and no one was really quite sure he was ready to make a debut. It was a wait and see thing and so far it looks like Bryce will be around.
Bryce brings a hustle to the game we haven’t seen in a while. The last 10 years or so of Major League Baseball has seen its share of drama. I player like Harper can breathe new life into the game. Fans from all over are taking notice. The Nationals have benefitted tremendously from the acquisition of Harper and pitcher Strasberg. Most teams would be happy to have one of these players, the Nats have both.
Harper is showing a passion for the game. He has been called the natural and so far has proven he can play and stay in the bigs. He swings full at every pitch, runs everything out, and if he isn’t making the throw from the outfield, he is crashing into the wall trying to make the catch.
Harper earned a GED in just two years from Las Vegas High School and was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated on June 8, 2009. His brother Bryan is a lefty and signed with the nationals after playing a season at University of South Carolina. Bryan was drafted by the Nationals in the 31st round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, but did not sign.
Young players can renew interest in the game for fans. Remember what Hideo Nomo did his rookie season. MLB needs young players to spark interest in the league. The fans need a reason to stand up cheer and raw talent like Harper is just the ticket. Harper will prove himself to be a special. His teammates pushed him up and out of the dugout for his first big league curtain call. The first of many to come!
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- HBT: Harper hits first major league homer (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Teen Bryce Harper hits 1st major league HR (nbc29.com)
- Nationals Bryce Harper hits first big league homer (dpatlarge.wordpress.com)
- Bryce Harper hit his first homer last night … and his second homer this afternoon (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Bryce Harper’s Reaction To His First Major League Homer Is Vintage Bryce Harper (withleather.uproxx.com)
- Bryce Harper: Is the Media Unfairly Treating the Washington Nationals Phenom? (bleacherreport.com)
- How Bryce Harper’s Swagger Will Save Baseball (bleacherreport.com)
- Bryce Harper: Why Rookie’s Home Run Barrage Will Continue (bleacherreport.com)
- Harper and Nationals bring baseball hope to D.C. (cnn.com)
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