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Matt Williams has no plans to tone down Bryce Harper

Nov 3, 2013, 2:54 PM EDT

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From Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com:

[New manager Matt] Williams can’t praise Harper enough for the edge he brings and does not plan to temper it too much. He wants to find the happy medium.

“I love it, I love the way he plays the game. He plays the game the way it should be played,” Williams said. “He is all-out, every day, all the time, every game. He’s paid for it by getting injured and running into walls.”

Williams was hired last week to replace Davey Johnson, who will transition into a front office consulting role over the offseason.

“I’m here to help him,” Williams said of the 21-year-old Harper, who hit .274/.368/.486 with 20 homers and 71 runs scored in 2013. “I’m here to help him become the MVP and a Hall of Fame player. I want that for him. I want him to be that guy. I want him to be our leader. I want him to be the star that everybody wants him to be.”

  1. David Proctor - Nov 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Here’s the thing: Bryce Harper isn’t nearly as “wild” as people make him out to be. Maybe on the basepaths. But I don’t think he missed a single cutoff man in 2013. He had issues in 2012, his rookie year, but not last year. Obviously he ran into the wall, but that wasn’t a case of him being overly aggressive, it was a lack of spacial awareness.

    • chotime01 - Nov 3, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      I could not agree with you more David.. You are 100% spot on.

  2. natstowngreg - Nov 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    I don’t think it’s spatial awareness. That suggests a physical problem, where Harper has trouble judging distances. If that were the case, he would have trouble playing the outfield at all. IMHO, he just can be overly aggressive at times.

    One of Matt Williams’ tasks as Nats manager is to help Harper continue his maturation process, to help the kid realize his vast potential. For example, realizing that running into walls and punching objects in dugouts does not help Bryce or the team. Williams shares that task with Harper’s “older brothers” — Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, and Adam LaRoche.

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