Harper – Making Other Ball Players Look Bad Since 2012

I’ve seen enough… There have been a lot of haters since Harper started wearing his war paint in college games. But after watching this kid play for a week, he’s got my vote and he should have yours as the one of the rising stars of baseball.

And if you have a little leaguer at home, sit him down in front of some of these Bryce Harper clips. Harper has been showcasing the passion and the skills that makes him a perfect role model for all young athletes.

Here are the top 5 reasons Harper has already won the hearts of Washington and players:

  • The Basics – In tee-ball, everyone was taught the basics. Keep your eye on the ball when hitting and use two hands when catching the ball on defense. We all know that Harper can hit (although he’s still looking for his first major league home run). He’s proved that since he became big news a few years ago. But here’s a professional (albeit 8 games) showing kids to always use two hands…

    Yep, he caught that fly ball with his bare hand.
  • Speed – This kid runs everything out. Every time his bat touches the ball, he is already sprinting to first and rounding for second. He has unbelievable speed for an ex-catcher. He’s proving that if you just run everything out, your opponents take notice and they begin to rush plays. Take this error from a grounder to the pitcher. He rushes knowing Harper is sprinting out of the box and he throws the ball right past the first-baseman. Or how he’s already at second base on a routine fly ball to the shortstop. Or making a pitcher look ridiculous on a flip to first on a grounder to 1B:

    Summary: Run Everything Out
  • Long Toss – Make Accurate Hard Throws. Harper is an ex-catcher which gives him a cannon for an arm and he isn’t afraid to show it off. He knows when to hit his cut-off men and went to gunsling it to the base. Wherever the throw is headed, it is always on a straight line. You will almost never see him lob it in to second base or the shortstop. He throws it hard 100% of the time. And when he does unleash the gunpowder, he does this (McDonald was out):
  • Game Knowledge – He’s already drawing walks and averages seeing 4 pitches per AB which is crazy. He’s already getting shifted on at the plate. He’s already getting beaned like he’s a veteran slugger. But he has that sixth sense of knowing what is always happening around him.

    He legitimately stole home. He knew if he broke at first move to firstbase, he could catch the Phillies sleeping. The firstbasemen being a lefty would have a difficult throw to home across his body. And this was all after being hit by Hamels (and was the only run given up by Hamels)
  • Passion – All of the above combined into a single player is amazing. I’m not sure there has been a player like Harper since ‘The Kid’, Griffey Jr. And look at how his career ended… a superstar. Harper takes baseball so seriously that on his off-days you may just find yourself playing a softball game with him in the park. His passion is making a lot of major leaguers look bad (maybe that’s why he’s getting intentionally hit). Not many players hustle to first anymore on the routine infield flies, yet Harper is at second before the ball is caught. He even turns short bloopers into doubles:

Harper is just fun to watch. It gives any baseball fan goosebumps to watch him play. It makes you wonder “Why isn’t hustling to first?” These guys get to play a kids game for a living, and Harper plays it right. He plays it like a little leaguer. He’s out their playing ball with the fundamentals and having fun. He’s only 19, so how long will the passion and energy last for Harper. I don’t know but I hope the Nationals get more nationally televised games so everyone gets to enjoy the spark that he has brought to Washington while it lasts.

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