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Bryce Harper is 6-for-8 so far in the Grapefruit League and “taking extra bases at will”

Feb 26, 2013, 10:39 PM EST

bryce harper getty Getty Images

Jedd Gyorko isn’t the only on-fire spring hitter.

Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper — who doesn’t turn 21 years old until October — went 3-for-3 with two doubles Tuesday in the Nationals’ 9-5 Grapefruit League loss to the Braves. Harper is now 6-for-8 (.750) this spring and “taking extra bases at will,” writes Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington.

Harper was supposed to get a routine day off on Wednesday afternoon against the Marlins, but he talked his way into the lineup because both Jayson Werth and Denard Span are playing, and Harper wants to get comfortable with his fellow starters.

“I had him out of the lineup to rest him, and he said: ‘What am I doing out of the lineup? I want in the lineup,'” Nats manager Davey Johnson explained to reporters Tuesday. “I’m already getting it. He’s in.”

Harper batted .270/.340/.477 with 22 home runs, 26 doubles, 18 steals and 59 RBI over his first 139 major league games last season. He carries National League MVP potential into the 2013 campaign.

  1. qcubed3 - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    Does Harper still take extra bases at will in the 2 for 8 part of his batting? If so, man, I’ve got to see how he does that – probably because of grit or some sort of intangible.

    • jyoung1891 - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      You ought to run for Congress.

  2. savvybynature - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Glad to hear he continues to develop. Hopefully this year he will earn the all-star appearance everyone already knows he will get based on the media hype. Last year I thought it was pretty borderline.

    As for MVP potential, OK, but there are a ton of guys out there with a ton of potential. I’m personally not even convinced that Harper is the most valuable player on his own team, much less in the entire National League.

    • captainwisdom88 - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:04 AM

      i agree with you totally, yet 11 ppl do not. he has a ton of ability harper. but zimmerman is still the leader of that team, and a top 10 hitter over the second half last year. hes healthy now too. if i was a gambling man id say harper will statistically pass zim this year, but we gotta be real hes still a kid. not even 21

      • psilenttype - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:30 AM

        Age is just a number

    • natstowngreg - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      I agree that he made the All-Star Game mainly on hype. But borderline season? Harper did things few teenagers have ever done in the Majors. BTW, an .817 OPS is not borderline, period.

      Yes, there are many guys with MVP potential. But Drew is not saying Harper will win the award, just that he has potential. Harper does need to convince people that he’s progressed to the MVP level. Hopefully, he will.

      • savvybynature - Feb 27, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        His stats heading into the break were .283/.357/.479 with 8 dingers and 8 steals.

        Amazing numbers for a 19 year old, but hardly sure-fire All Star numbers. I didn’t mean a borderline good season; he had a good season without a doubt. I simply meant he was a borderline All Star at the time he was voted in as a replacement.

      • baseballer28 - Feb 27, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        It’s 4 games into the spring, has he even face an actual major league caliber pitcher yet that isn’t throwing just meatballs and changes? This guy is a fucknig joke. And old Davey letting a 21 year old dictate his discions on his lineup isn’t a good sign either. Or maybe that’s just the way they do it in “fake town”. The Nationals and they’re fans (I say that losely, since most of them never heard of this team until last September) are fucking jokes. When philly got healthy last year, they beat them 8 times in a row. None of their pitchers even threw 200 innings, they’re back end screwed up in the biggest game of their season, they only had 1 100 RBI seasn (laroche 100) and Jayson Werth in 2 years doesn’t even have 100 RBI’s himself…get the fuck outta here. I don’t understand how the hell their rotation is considered better then Philly’s, or even how their lineup is that much better. Philadelphia’s got guys that you know (they’ve got track records) what they gonna do if healthy…Ryan Howard when healthy can hit more HR’s and drive more runs then Zimmerman and Werth combined. Go look at the statistics. Utley, Rollins, Ruiz, Mike Young all have either won or played in a World Series. Revere is basically a young Span and Brown is Philly’s uber talented youngster who’s going to blow up this year. After a decade of Burrel/Ibanez in left, Ruf will do just fine once he gets use to it. If he can hit 30 HR’s in a year, his defense will be just fine. Harper isn’t the next great thing, he’s just an arrogant, flashy kid who’s parents made it easier then most to make it to the majors.

      • baseballer28 - Feb 27, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        Andruw Jones hit a home run in the World Series when he was barely 20 and Derek Jeter had won one.

  3. dowhatifeellike - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    And Endy Chavez hit something like .470 last spring.

    Let’s wait and see how he does after they break camp.

  4. danglesnipecelly24 - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Harper>Trout

    • brewcrewfan54 - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:35 AM

      The numbers say otherwise so far.

      • dondada10 - Feb 27, 2013 at 6:29 AM

        The eye test says otherwise, as well.

    • jwbiii - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:45 AM

      I hope that will bar stool argument fodder for the next 15 years.

      • atlrod - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        I hope so too. But right now it’s not even an argument. Trout is a far more productive player. Harper has the talent to be up there, too. I’d like to see it.

      • jimbo75025 - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:40 AM

        You are correct. I only hope with Trouts bulking up somewhat he is not trying to change his game ala Willie Mays Hayes.

      • natstowngreg - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        Trout is a little older, has a different skill set. Both should be all-stars for the next decade or so. BTW, both Trout and Harper bulked up this off-season. They’re both growing boys.

        Harper is moving to his natural position as a corner OF already. Over time, he may take fewer extra bases because more of his shots will clear walls. Though the high RCF wall at Nats Park will remain a challenge.

        Eventually, Trout may have to move from CF to a corner, and attempt fewer steals, but that’s probably several years away.

      • pauleee - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        I think the plan already is for Trout to move to LF. The Halos are still banking on Peter Bourjos to hit at this level but he certainly has the defensive skills.

  5. xjokerz - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    Zimmerman is nothing but dl trash

  6. sleepyirv - Feb 27, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    We keep tagging him with the ball but he still takes more bases! He’s broken the system! HE’S A MACHINE!

  7. j0ey15 - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    What round should I eye Harper in fantasy baseball? Lol

  8. ryanrockzzz - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Love Harper, I think he’ll have a big year for the Nats.

  9. psilenttype - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Its because of the Eggo waffles

  10. dowhatifeellike - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    The interns won’t be happy when they don’t have any extra bases to make the switch between innings.

  11. tomtravis76 - Feb 27, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    He will be 26-27 when he hits Free Agency at the end of 2018 season. 10 years ,400 – 500 million sounds about what his agent will be asking some team to ink him.

    The league really needs a salary cap.

  12. r3alta1k - Feb 28, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    So Harper really isnt any good? He has no talent but everyone on the phillies is either great or is better because they have world series experience. Oh yeah Phillies rotation is way better than the Nats…oh dont forget how nats fans just started supporting..Phillies fans supported even when they were losing all those years, never saw that stadium empty. Well wrap the Nl East Crown up, the best city in the majors is doing it this year….well as long as no one gets hurt! #realtalk

  13. r3alta1k - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    comment was in response to baseballer…obviously sarcasm

    • sufferingphilsfan - Mar 1, 2013 at 7:01 AM

      obviously sarcasm…it is true though–Nats park was empty all those years..but so was the Vet during the downtrodden days…and the Bank was pretty empty last year especially in late August and September…Now, I will say..the Nats had a good year–but they didn’t win anything..in fact they don’t know how to win yet–I think last years collapse against the Cards was a good thing–Winning in the regular season means little anymore–if you can’t put it together in the post-season…then there is little to brag about.

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