Skip to content

Bryce Harper is trying to “get as big as a house”

Jan 3, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

Bryce Harper AP AP

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is listed at 230 pounds and weighed in just under that at the end of the 2013 season, but his goal going into spring training is to “get as big as a house”, writes Anna McDonald for ESPN’s Sweet Spot. Astros strength and conditioning coach Jake Beiting is behind the approach, saying it’s common among younger players who haven’t finished growing yet. Harper turned 21 years old back in October.

Of the few things Harper hasn’t done in either of the two seasons he’s played at the big league level, it’s slug over .500. He finished at .477 in 2012 and .486 this past season. With a career-high of 22 home runs, it’s also not inconceivable to think he could get to 25 or even 30 home runs. It remains to be seen how much of a sacrifice, if any, he will have to make to his speed and defense with the added weight.

  1. AlmostForty - Jan 3, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    He’s never going to make the Hall of Fame now. Just won’t look right.

    • km9000 - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      There’s gotta be a freight entrance in the back he could use.

  2. proudlycanadian - Jan 3, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    What size of house? Jeter or A-Rod mansion size, or the size of one of those cute little Cape Cod cottages?

  3. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 3, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    I would be more concerned how added muscle could change his swing for the worse.

    • Glenn - Jan 3, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      With all due respect, I thought the idea that lifting weights was bad for athletes because it made them “muscle-bound” went out long ago. Did you catch the steroid era?

      • js20011041 - Jan 3, 2014 at 6:46 PM

        I disagree. No, getting big won’t necessarily affect Harper’s performance, but I would want to ask him why he feels he needs to bulk up. He’s already got enormous raw power. Bulking up, especially quickly, can not only affect his flexibility, but will also put added stress on his ligaments and joints. This is a player who might be already showings signs of being injury prone. I’d be a little leery of this if I was Nats fan.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 3, 2014 at 7:02 PM

        Nope I’m pretty well versed in the steroid era. Thanks for your concern though. If I was a Nats fan my original comment would be a concern until he proves otherwise.

      • mpzz - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        js20011041, “bulking up” does NOT affect flexibility. All the old myths are wrong. However, if he is using steroids to bulk up, it can make him injury-prone, as the ligaments and joints cannot be artificially strengthened. At least, not yet.

  4. cur68 - Jan 3, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    Baseball players are going to be bigger than football players? Man. That Bryce Harper; doing all he can to kill of football, isn’t he?

    • chacochicken - Jan 3, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      I think some sort of analog with St. George and the Dragon would work.

      Question: Is it possible to replicate the effects of gigantism or acromegaly? I don’t think that would really help Bryce play baseball but could upsize him a bit.

      • cur68 - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:22 PM

        Is it possible to replicate the effects of gigantism or acromegaly?

        You betcha. Harper’s still growing. Use of or pituitary over production of growth hormone in someone who’s still growing can result in gigantism. One of the side effects of giantism is acromegaly (the overgrowth of bones like the brow, jaw, cheekbones etc. The Old CaveMan Look).

      • Old Gator - Jan 4, 2014 at 7:54 AM

        Bryce Harper, the Rondo Haddon of baseball.

  5. sportsfan18 - Jan 3, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    He’s still mad at the wall he ran into when he messed up his knee.

    He’s vowed that it will now be the wall that gets hurt instead of him from now on.

    • km9000 - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:10 PM

      HARP SMASH!!!

  6. chiadam - Jan 3, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    Yes, I remember reading about it when he first said it. Months ago. What next, HBT? A thrilling recap of the ball getting by Buckner?

  7. moseskkim - Jan 3, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    i would rather him get “as healthy as a horse”

  8. onbucky96 - Jan 3, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Didn’t Barry Bonds get as big as a house?

    • dinofrank60 - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:56 PM

      I don’t know, but I heard physicists at Stanford were worried that if Bonds imploded, he could deform spacetime.

      • Old Gator - Jan 4, 2014 at 7:55 AM

        Technically speaking, Bonds already deforms spacetime. The important thing is not to deform booty time.

  9. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 3, 2014 at 7:09 PM


    (prays someone get the reference)

    • arizonagrit - Jan 3, 2014 at 8:13 PM

      You ruin the reference when you add (prays someone get the reference). I got the reference without your assistance.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:53 PM

        Agreed. The whole joke has been ru-een-d

  10. syphermce - Jan 3, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    Call David Ortiz. He’s knows what drugs to use and how to get big without getting caught.

    • dinofrank60 - Jan 3, 2014 at 8:55 PM

      How come he didn’t clue in Manny?

  11. bostonboresme - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    The Guy of Family.

  12. kruegere - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    Harper’s secret to getting big?

    Glow in the dark weights.

  13. raylangivens2 - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    What cha gonna do when the 24 inch Brythons run wild on you, brother?

    • km9000 - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:06 PM

      Doing it for the all li’l Harpamaniacs out there, dude!

  14. 461deep - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    He does not need too much more size. He needs to study Ted Williams “Art of Hitting” book especially the section that speaks to employing a slight upper cut to his swing. He is only 21 so still
    developing his MLB hitting skills so 25-30 or more HRs a year should be quite the expected. He hit 22 in less than a full season at 19 and was hurt ] in 2013.

    • braxtonrob - Jan 4, 2014 at 3:06 AM

      Ted Williams’ book is ‘Science of Hitting’; you’re thinking of Charlie Lau’s book ‘Art of Hitting .300’.

      [Both the two best books ever written on hitting, IMO.]

  15. hardkor07mn - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    This guy is a joke. He’s going to be the next A-rod

  16. mpzz - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    Ah, I love the smell of steroids in the morning!
    Smells like……. Victory!

  17. Kevin S. - Jan 4, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Can’t wait for all the before and after pictures that “prove” he took steroids while ignoring how much a young player’s body natural fills out in his early 20s.

  18. jas99077 - Jan 4, 2014 at 12:18 PM


  19. 461deep - Jan 4, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    TY for the correction Brax. If I remember correctly the 2 author s did not fully agree on hitting techniques. Charley favored a shorter swing through the zone. Ted preached get a good ball to hit.
    Have to surmise they agreed on much as well. Today many wonderfully physically gifted players do not augment their talents enough by employing good hitting rules. Adam Dunn should not be a .200 hitter but he does nothing to improve. I believe PEDs helped Barry Bonds but he was smart too. He choked up slightly, had a short stroke and waited for his pitch ala both Ted & Charley.

    • braxtonrob - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:30 AM

      Charley Lau is the best! (<- I say affectionately). I LOVE that book; 'helped make me the hitter I was, and I could re-read those two books 100x back when I was playing. I wouldn't trade my copies for anything.

  20. Walk - Jan 5, 2014 at 2:46 AM

    I agree on bonds. Next time you see a video of bonds hitting watch how long he waits on a pitch and how deep he lets it travel. He cleared his hips faster than anyone i have ever seen and pulled pitches that would have jammed most hitters. Just being able to wait that long was a huge advantage. That was a pitchers pitch on most hitters and he would drive it out of the park most times.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. B. Crawford (2818)
  2. C. Correa (2614)
  3. Y. Puig (2526)
  4. G. Stanton (2492)
  5. G. Springer (2429)
  1. H. Pence (2351)
  2. J. Hamilton (2198)
  3. M. Teixeira (2003)
  4. H. Ramirez (1974)
  5. J. Fernandez (1950)