(Photo by: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Highly touted Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper was called up to the big league ball club on April 28th. He was drafted 1st overall in the 2010 June MLB draft. Harper has had a lot of hype and promise around him ever since he was featured in a 2009 edition of Sports Illustrated magazine. He has been called a future legend by many in the sports media. Harper has also been called immature and egotistical during his 2011 Minor League run. Now we get to see how the 19 year old phenom develops into what could be an incredible baseball player.
Bryce Harper Has been at the Major League level for a month now. So I figured it is time to take a look at the numbers and see how he has done. The stats mentioned are compiled from his first 31 games at the big league level and took place between the 28th of April and the 2nd of June.
Harper has had 115 appearances at the plate. From those at bats he has 32 hits, 16 base on balls and has been struck out 21 times. His batting average is at .278, at the plate he has fared pretty well for a player that just got to the show. He has shown some power amassing 10 extra base hits and knocking 4 ball out of the park. He has produced a good number of runs with 21, Harper has also 11 RBI’s.
His debut came on the 28th of April in Los Angeles when his National faced off against the Dodgers. Harper went 1 for 3 that night, the hit was for a double and he also batted in a run. The Dodgers won that game by a score of 4-3.
Harper’s best game at the plate came on May 2nd against the Arizona Diamondbacks at home. Harper went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles, 2 runs and 1 RBI.
He has been a really good part of the Nationals offensive production. He has also been an asset to the club in the field. Harper was brought up through his amateur playing years as a catcher but once drafted was converted to an outfielder. Harper currently occupies the Right Field and has a rocket arm and really good fielding.
The most publicized event for Harper came May 6th when the Nationals played the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies star pitcher Cole Hamels nailed Harper in the back with a pitch. It looked intentional but Hamels left no doubt that it was on purpose when he admitted it after the game. Harper handled the situation with all of the maturity in the world and shrugged it off. When Harper was asked about it later he just said that they were both competitive players and sometimes that happens.
This last month of watching Bryce Harper play has shown us a few things. He was indeed ready to be called up from the minor leagues. He has been the player the Nationals need to continue to compete in the tough N.L. East. He has played well on both the offensive and defensive side. Most importantly he has shown that he can be as humble as he needs to be right now to develop and improve. I believe Harper is going to continue to get better and in a couple of years could in fact be one of the best baseball players around.