When Bryce Harper arrived in the major leagues in 2010, many folks were already crowing him to be the next Pete Rose. He had the bat speed, and the big power to hit like a Mickey Mantle. He had the skills to complete everything that needs to be done on the field. 6-3 and 230 lbs of raw skill and athleticism, he was going to be a .300 hitter and be a solid 30-30 guy for every season. He looks, at this point that he may end up to be great, and he still has plenty of time to make some adjustments.
He has caught a lot of heat due to an attitude that many have heard about or seen through the media. Which almost in a way turned the public against him before he even played a single big league game. Coming in he had shown that he had a tendency to be a bit cocky. And many still hold that against him. A couple of small things like watching his ball fly after hitting a homer, but then again, there are many hitters who have done that. He had the stupid incident in the minors, when he blew a kiss to a pitcher. This is a kid who had his face plastered across seemingly every sports magazines since he was just 16. He came in with years of hype built up on him. But, really, is that really that odd for a teen with all the hype that he saw people setting him up as? Harper is just very confident and aggressive in his play. To me, this is not a bad thing.
Harper, now at the age of just 22 has already done what he needs to do to show he is the real deal. Currently, he has been batting .300, hitting 11 home runs, and 28 RBI. Harper shows that he is a leader on the field. Looking at his growing level, his first 3 years show that he’s been pretty damn good. And when runners are on base, Harper has just been magnificent, hitting .316 and 22 RBI. At the ripe young age of just 22, Harper has also become the youngest player in MLB history to slam 5 home runs in 2 games. Harper had stringed together an awesome HR streak. This is looking like the year that Bryce is going to put it all in place.
His biggest problem has been injuries in his career so far, most which were avoidable. Being a result of his hard play and his tough approach to the game. He never leaves anything out there, isn’t that what fans want? Looking at his numbers, they have been among the best for any player in his age range,even with the beaten up seasons included.
He has gotten to be much more patient at the plate. Opposing pitchers aren’t just avoiding him, and pitching around him. He doesn’t swing at bad pitches, he has matured, and learned. He is walking more often than ever, due to this. He simply isn’t swinging at pitches outside the strike zone, he is waiting, like a smart promising baseball player. Harper is the kind of player to watch grow and become even better, he could be legitimately the next big hitter, like Manny Ramirez or the next game changer, like Ken Griffey.
Let’s see if he can keep up the great play and continue to expand a fine legacy that he has the potential to build. Currently he is in the top 4 in HR, RBI, BB and OPS, and SLG. I would say, the kid looks to be holding his future in his own hands. Accept him, hate him. This kid is the real deal.
Written by Tony Karpinski for 10StarPicks.com