Even if you’re not a baseball fan, you’ve probably heard of Bryce Harper, 19-year-old stud outfielder for the Washington Nationals, by now. He’s the youngest player in the Major Leagues playing on a team that is (surprisingly) leading the National League East division.
This phenom may have captured the attention of a nation, but let’s take a closer look at his chances of living up to all the hype.
Why Harper will make it
His attitude demands that he play hard all the time
Even more astounding than his natural physical tools and skill set is his will to be known as one of the best to play the game. See this quote from an interview with GQ earlier this year:
“When I hit the ball…I do want to hurt it … I want to play the game hard. I want to ram it down your throat, put you into left field when I’m going into second base.”
That’s badass. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to be the shortstop fielding a throw on a close play at second base with this hulking 6’3” behemoth bearing down on me. Good luck to the poor souls who get paid to do so.
He switched from playing catcher to the outfield, a move that will likely prolong his career
Catchers have it tough in baseball. They squat on their knees longer than a cheap hooker in a seedy Times Square hotel room, and they get banged with baseballs traveling at extremely fast speeds with regularity. In the outfield, Harper will be free to showcase his trademark speed with little-to-no risk of long-term serious injury. Hooray managerial decisions!
He’s already a game-changer at the Major League level
Opposing shortstops already are adjusting their defenses to Harper, and opposing pitchers already are throwing him 2-0 sliders. Roughly a month into his career with the Nats, he is already the team’s No. 2 hitter and is leading the team in slugging percentage. What more needs to be said about this teenager who isn’t even old enough to go the bar post-game with the boys after his hit leads them to victory?
He hangs with hot babes, which will help keep him relevant even during his cold spells on the field
Harper has been linked to Playboy Playmate Brittney Palmer, as well as this hottie. Realtionships or not, the mere fact that he is already being pictured with and linked to women like these are promising signs. Because every guy knows the key to a successful man is a supportive woman smoking-hot chick.
He’s shown he is resilient and can bounce back well from a bad situation
On May 6, Harper was hit in the lower back by Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels in the first inning on the first pitch of the at-bat. Harper would steal home plate that same inning, off of Hamels. Hamels subsequently admitted to hitting him intentionally to send a message and was suspended by MLB for five games. But, Harper had sent his own message back to the veteran pitcher, loud and clear: I’m here to stay, so you’ll have to deal with me. Hamels can’t plunk Harper every time he comes to the plate and other pitchers looking to get into his head will face an uphill battle.