Bryan is super-star Bryce Harper's older brother.
Bryan did not sign with the Cubs after they chose him in the 27th round in June, 2010 out of the Junior College of Southern Nevada. He accepted a baseball scholarship to the University of South Carolina.
In 2011, Harper was a member of the University of South Carolina baseball team that won NCAA title. Harper pitched in 22 games and had a 5.40 ERA in 22 appearances. He struck out 18 batters and walked 17 in 18 1/3 innings.
August 1, 2011: Bryan signed with the Nationals almmost two months after the team chose him in the 30th round in June, 2011.
2013 off-season substitute teacher: Harper, the older brother of Bryce, has actually been teaching for three years now. He told MiLB.com he has an app on his phone to communicate his availability with the school system. He enjoys teaching at schools in underprivileged areas of Vegas and also has experience working with children who have special needs.
"It was awesome for me to have the opportunity to work with the special-ed kids," he told MiLB.com. "It reminds me how blessed I am personally. Seeing these kids that are less fortunate, it gives me the chance to give back to my high school and also to the kids in the area I grew up."
Bryan was having the best season of his professional baseball career in 2014. It helped that Harper was repeating his delivery and commanding his fastball much better.
"I'm very excited for him," brother Bryce Harper said. "He has worked hard his whole life. The last couple of years were a little rough for him, but he has been throwing great. He was throwing great toward the end of last year and he threw great during the first half with Potomac.
"He looks like the old Bryan. He looks like he did when he was a senior in high school and [college]. He is doing a great job, doing his own thing. He is really succeeding. He is a 6-6 lefty. They are always going to be good."
Bryan is not only a reliever, he has a handlebar mustache that resembles Rollie Fingers.
"I don't think he is going to get rid of it. He is doing well with it," Bryce said. "He grows a big beard during the offseason, so he was trying to do something different with the Rollie Fingers' mustache. He is doing well with it. I don't think it's going anywhere soon." (Ladson - mlb.com - 6/22/14)
"He's one of the most dominating left-handed pitchers I've seen in my life, and I've seen [Nationals third-round pick Matthew] Purke and a lot of other guys that are at that caliber," Bryce Harper said in 2-14. "My brother's pretty good and I wouldn't say it if he wasn't. Everyone's going to see what he has and what he features.
While he would welcome an opportunity to again be his brother's teammate, he does not want to step into a batter's box against him anytime soon. "I can't touch him," Bryce said. "I've never been able to hit him." (Steven Miller/ MLB.com. /June 2011)
While his younger brother was on a tear through the National League on his way to becoming the 2015 Most Valuable Player, Bryan Harper was also enjoying his best season in professional baseball. Bryan, a left-handed reliever in the Nationals' organization, rose to Triple-A for the first time in his career. Meanwhile his brother, Bryce, established himself as one of the best players in baseball.
The Harpers usually do not talk much about baseball when they get together -- usually college football or basketball -- but it still made for an exciting time around the Harper household. "It was a really good time for the whole family," Bryan said during a brief stint in Major League camp this past weekend. "They got to see us perform at some pretty high levels last year. I think we just finally figured out what made us click, and it just came together for us."
Bryan has been in the Nationals' organization since 2011. "It definitely makes it easier going into the offseason when you do have a good year like that," Bryan said. "You're able to work out and work on things and you feel right. You know what makes you click and everything like that."
Reaching Triple-A also brought Bryan closer to his goal of reaching the Major Leagues, and perhaps one day sharing the same field with his brother again. The two, who are separated by about three years in age, played together in high school and junior college.
"I was super excited for him," Bryce said. "It's always good to see what he does and how he goes about it. He's always made his own road. I'm his brother. It's not like he's my brother or anything like that. He's paving his own way ... hopefully he has another great year this year, hopefully maybe get a cup of coffee [in the Majors], possibly. That's the main goal." (Collier - MLB.com - 3/29/16)
BRYAN JAMES HARPER
|Birth City:||LasVegas, NV|
|Draft:||Nationals #30-2011 out of U. of So. Carolina|
|2017||-||DL - Tommy John|
- Harper has an 88-92 FASTBALL with good movement, a sweeping power 76-78 mph CURVEBALL that is very hard for lefthanded hitters, and very good feel for his CHANGEUP.
- Bryan has good command.
- Harper is very competitive on the mound.
- He is a tall, thin lefthander. But he doesn't always pitch like he is 6-feet-5 because he has a drop-and-drive delivery.
Career Injury Report
- April 18-30, 2013: Harper is on the D.L.
April 11-May 31, 2015: Bryan was on the D.L.
- August 10, 2016: Harper was on the D.L.
- November 18, 2016: Harper underwent Tommy John surgery.