Bryce Harper: up and coming phenom

Peter Drulias, Staff Writer

For the past two years the hype for Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals was enormous, and he was able to pitch up to his fullest potential. Now that he is an established pitcher, even though he missed a year due to Tommy John surgery, focus has switched over to a new phenom who can potentially mean just as much, if not more, than Strasburg. Only nineteen years old, Bryce Harper is the newest star in the MLB. Drafted number one overall by the Nationals in the 2010 draft, he elected to do early college and skip his high school senior year of baseball just so he could make it to the big leagues sooner. Throughout his high school career he was seen on front cover of Sports Illustrated and ESPN magazines, making him the most hyped player ever. After spending all of last season down in the minor leagues, he has now made it to the bigs and is trying to play a key role in the Nationals’ offense.

 

    Harper’s debut came on April 28 2012 in Los Angeles against the Dodgers and he lived up to his name. Harper throughout the game went 2 for 3 with a double off the centerfield wall and a single, which earned him his first RBI. He also would have thrown out a runner at home from right field if the catcher held on to the ball. Even though he had a great debut, it was overlooked due to Matt Kemp’s walk off home run. Then with the injury of Jayson Werth, it gave him an opportunity to become an everyday player for the Nationals and contribute in a big way. As Harper has had games where he shows his brilliance and ability to play, he has also run into some funks like the controversial pitch from Cole Hammels, where Hammels intentionally threw at Harper simply as a “welcome” to the big leagues. Harper has also misread fly balls and cut open his own face from breaking his bat in the clubhouse due to one of his strikeouts. Harper is now hitting with a .240 average, a total of five RBI’s and just recently hit his first and second home runs of his big league career. Though Harper has had a couple hiccups and has shown very well he is still just a teenager, Harper will continue to shock people with his ability to play ball and mature right before your eyes. Don’t be surprised in a couple years when Harper is one of the best players in the world.