HARPER, BRYCE  
 
Image of    Nickname:   N/A Position:   OF
Home: Las Vegas, Nevada Team:   NATIONALS
Height: 6' 3" Bats:   L
Weight: 225 Throws:   R
DOB: 10/16/1992 Agent: Scott Boras
Birth City: Las Vegas, Nevada Draft: Nationals #1-2010-Out of College of Southern Nevada
Uniform #: 34  
 
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2011 EL HARRISBURG   37 129 14 33 7 1 3 12 7 2 15 26 .329 .395 .256
2011 SAL HAGERSTOWN   72 258 49 82 17 1 14 46 19 5 44 61 .423 .554 .318
2012 IL SYRACUSE   21 74 8 18 4 1 1 3 1 1 9 14 .325 .365 .243
2012 NL NATIONALS   139 533 98 144 26 9 22 59 18 6 56 120 .340 .477 .270
2013 NL NATIONALS   118 424 71 116 24 3 20 58 11 4 61 94 .368 .486 .274
2013 EL HARRISBURG   2 7 3 2 0 1 0 2 0 0 2 3 .444 .571 .286
2013 CAR POTOMAC   2 4 2 2 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 .600 1.500 .500
2014 NL NATIONALS   13 50 7 17 3 1 1 5 0 2 5 16 .400 .500 .340
PERSONAL:

  • Bryce Harper was playing T-ball at age three against six-year-olds, partly to be with his older brother, Bryan.

    Bryan was drafted by the Nationals in the 31st round, but elected to attend Cal State-Northridge
    .

    By the time Bryce was nine, travel teams from California to Colorado to Oklahoma were calling the Harpers and offering to put their son on a plane, lodge him in a hotel and provide his meals so he could play for them in tournaments
    . A travel player for hire. He went, of course. Most times either Ron or Sheri went with him, but sometimes, for work or monetary reasons, they could not go, so Bryce went alone. He has played between 80 and 130 baseball games a year each year for seven years, in more states than he can remember.
"People say, 'Weren't you deprived of your childhood?' " Bryce says. "No way. I would not take anything back at all. Everything about it was great. I got to go places, meet people, play baseball against older kids and better competition. I had a great time."

Bryce is a normal young man
. He played football until 2008, and he loves to snowboard in the winter.

"We don't limit him in any way," his Mom, Shari said
. "He loves to play baseball. He would come home after being away playing baseball all weekend, get off the plane and not an hour later be bored and say, 'Dad, let's go to the cage and hit.' I mean, he still sleeps with his bat. He'll get a new bat and go, 'Dad, isn't she a bee-yooty?'"

 
It was after one of those player-for-hire trips that Sheri began to understand that her son was really special. Bryce, then 12, was playing in a tournament in Alabama on a field with 250-foot fences. It was a trip Sheri could not attend. When Bryce phoned home, Sheri asked him how he'd done. "I did all right," he replied.

Later one of the coaches called Sheri. "Did he say anything to you?" the coach asked.

"No, not really," Sheri said.

 
"He went 12 for 12. Eleven home runs and a double."

"That," Sheri says, "is when I knew." (Tom Verducci-Sports Illustrated-6/08/09)

  • Harper did volunteer work when he was in high school. And he had a 3.5 grade point average. He also atteded religious education classes nearly every morning before school.

  •  
  • Bryce is an impact player with the skills, body and attitude—he says he models his game after those of Mickey Mantle and Pete Rose—perfectly suited for the sport.

    He has always wanted to play baseball
    . And he has an enormous capacity for working at the game with dedication. When asked about his goals as a ballplayer, he replies with an unemotional certainty: "Be in the Hall of Fame, definitely. Play in Yankee Stadium. Play in the pinstripes. Be considered the greatest baseball player who ever lived. I can't wait."

  • His father, Ron, is a steelworker, while his mother, Sheri, is a paralegal.

  • In 2008, as part of USA Baseball's 16-U team in the Pan Am Championships in Mexico, Harper signed autographs for 45 minutes, until the wee hours of the morning, after pitching the 11th inning of a 3-1 win over Cuba. He batted .571 in the tournament, with four home runs in eight games, a 1.214 slugging average, a .676 on-base percentage and six stolen bases in six tries—all team highs among regular players—and was named MVP.

  •  
    It was during an international home run hitting showcase in January that Harper, with a metal bat, walloped his 502-foot shot at the Trop, part of a run of six consecutive homers that averaged 469 feet. (The night before the competition, Babe Ruth's granddaughter displayed a commemorative bat to be awarded to the player who hit the longest home run. In his own version of a called shot, Harper told the Babe's kin, "I'm going to win that bat." And he did.)

  • Harper plays baseball with  a viciousness, a seeming contempt for whoever and whatever dares get between him and victory. "I'm going to play against you the way Pete Rose did," he says. "I'm going to try to rip your head off. That's just the way I am. Old school. If I could play for a guy like Lou Piniella or Larry Bowa, I'd love it."

  •  
    Before he hits, Harper lays his bat down in the batter's box, takes two steps toward the pitcher, bends over, scoops up dirt in his bare hands (batting gloves? Hah!), rubs it between his palms and then returns to grab his bat and take his place in the box. "He's got this thing for dirt," Sheri says. It looks like an act of defiance, a marking of territory—in this case, home plate—as his alone.

    "I love the way people talk crap," Harper says
    . "I hear it all the time. Overrated. You suck. I'll just do something to shut them up, like, I'll show you. It's like in regular pregame work. I like to show off my arm. Just so it's like, There you go. Don't even think about trying to run."

    "Bryce has a saying," his father, Ron says
    . "Whenever people say how good he is, he likes to say, 'I'm not done yet. I still have work to do.' He's going to get a lot better, and I say that because of how hard he works. I don't think he'll ever rest on his laurels." (Tom Verducci-Sports Illustrated-6/08/09)

  • In 2009, Harper was Baseball America's High School Player of the Year as a sophomore. The magazine had never even picked a high school junior as their POY, much less a sophomore.

    That season, Bryce hit
    .626 with a .723 on-base-percentage and a 1.339 slugging percentage in 115 at-bats, with 14 homers and 55 RBI.

  •  
  • Bryce chose to pursue his GED rather than go back to high school for his junior year in the fall of 2009. Yes, he  skipped the last two years of high school and got into college so he could be drafted, but maintained a 4.0 average in junior college. He has said his "pet peeve" is when teachers do not get their proper respect. He gravitates to Nationals' veterans like Mark DeRosa, Rick Ankiel ("He deserves all the respect in the world for overcoming what he's overcome."), and Jayson Werth.

  • The player Harper most enjoys being compared with is George Brett. (When told that, Brett said, "He had to be the only 17-year-old in this country who knows who I am.") When journalist Danny Knobler told Harper that he used to cover the Tigers, Harper wanted to know about Al Kaline, and astounded Knobler by knowing Kaline at age 20 in 1955 was the youngest batting champion.

     
    Asked on MLB Network whom he'd like to meet if he could go back in time, Harper replied, "Jackie Robinson, not only because he was a Hall of Fame player, but because of all he went through." Harper talks about hoping to meet several players around the game if and when he makes it to Washington. One of them is veteran grinder Chase Utley.

    For now, Harper plays off the role of being the brash kid. "It's unbelievable what people scream at him from the stands," says DeRosa. "One day, there was a man with his three kids yelling obscenities." It happened throughout the Minors last year.

  • Just before the 2010 draft, Baseball America asked Harper what he missed about being in high school.

    "I have not missed one thing at all
    . I really haven't. I didn't really have any friends in high school because I was about baseball. That's all I was about. Everyone else, they were about partying and all that kind of stuff. I stayed away from all that. I was pretty much a homebody. Go to school, go to baseball, go to the gym and come home. And eat a great home-cooked meal by my mom. That was my day. Then Sundays I'd go to church," Bryce said.

  •  
  • Harper used to use a whole lot of eye black under his eyes and on his cheeks. But he cut it back a lot in 2011.

    Bryce is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a Morman
    . But he does not plan on doing a mission.

    "I think  I can do what I can on the field to get people to look at me and say, 'He's LDS
    .' I can do a lot more things on the field. I probably could go out and say 'This is the right church,' but I can do that on the field and being a walking book of Mormon. Is it in my repertoire to go do a mission? Yes, but after my career and everything like that. When I'm older I'll go on a mission, but as of right now, no, not at this age," Harper told Baseball America.

  • Harper's Favorites:

    Movie: Bull Durham

    Musical Group: "I love Lil' Wayne, but I'm pretty much all about country. Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, and Big & Rich."

    Dream Car: "1969 Chevelle SS
    . Or a Range Rover Sport, black on black. I love the '55 Belair. I love all the old-school cars," Bryce said.

    Celebrity Crush: Megan Fox
    .

  •  
  • Asked about his hobbies, Harper told Baseball America, "I love to go to the beach. I love going to Oklahoma. I love to snowboard. Going fishing. Hanging out with my pops. Me and him are best friends. Just going to the lake; hanging out, having a good time."

  • Bryce plays with a lot of passion.

  • Harper's uniform number with the Nationals is #34—3 plus 4 equals 7. And the #7 was Mickey Mantle's number. And The Mick is Bryce's all-time favorite player.

  • In 2010, Bryce was awarded the Golden Spikes award.

  • August 16, 2010: Just before the midnight deadline, Harper signed a five-year, $9.9 million contract, which includes a $6.25 signing bonus. Mitch Sokol is the scout who signed him.

  •  
  • The Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Bryce as the #1 prospect in the Nationals organization in the winter before both 2011 and 2012 spring trainings.

  • Harper had an eye exam on April 19, 2011 that resulted in prescription contact lenses. He then went on a hitting tear.

  • When Bryce signs an autograph, he normally put his uniform number (34) and LUKE 1:37 (which reads, "For with God, nothing shall be impossible.")

  • Probably around the time Bryce became a teenager, his father, Ron, taught him never to drink anything from a glass or open container if he was unsure about its chain of custody.

    "I still do that," Harper said late in the 2011 season
    . "I don't drink at all. When I'd go to parties with my buddies—it's Vegas—I'd always bring a water bottle with me. I'd keep it in my hand no matter what. I still do. Anytime I go to anybody's house, I always have it in a closed container. I open it up, drink it right away or keep it close, just in case. Things happen, and I don't want to take a chance."

  •  
  • Arnie Beyeler, the manager for the Pawtucket Red Sox, had Harper in the Arizona Fall League and said, "He plays as hard as anyone I've ever seen. I love him."

    That time in 2011 that Harper blew the kiss at the Greensboro pitcher? Bob Boone was at the game and said, "The pitcher was talking trash
    ." Harper added: "The only time I do some of these things is when someone disrespects a teammate."

  • Asked on MLB Network whom he’d like to meet if he could go back in time, Harper replied, “Jackie Robinson, not only because he was a Hall of Fame player, but because of all he went through.

    Harper talks about hoping to meet several players around the game if and when he makes it to Washington. One of them is veteran grinder Chase Utley.

  •  
  • Harper was named the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year. It was a close decision over the D-backs' Wade Miley and the Reds' Todd Frazier.

  • Harper's game-worn 2013 opening day jersey was auctioned off, and the Nats slugger was not happy about it. The jersey sold for just over $13,000. If only he had known sooner, he could have bid on it. Harper took to Twitter to express his frustration that the first opening day jersey of his career is in the hands of someone else.

    Bryce tweeted "They just take my jersey away from me and don't ask if I want it or anything! First opening day! Jersey gone!"

  • Early in 2013, it was reported the Bryce was dating BYU soccer player Kayla Varner.

  • Sports Illustrated's Dan Patrick asked Harper, "When's the last time you were nervous in a game?"

    Bryce responed, "I've never been nervous
    . I never feel pressure. It's so much fun to be part of games that are 1-1 going into the 10th inning. Or you're up bases loaded, bottom of the ninth. That's something you live for. I've always dreamed of hitting a walk-off home run in the playoffs."

    Patrick asked, "Is it hard to live your life?"

    To which Harper said, "I got a great group of guys on my team and a great family and support at home
    . (I try to) have fun while I'm playing and be a good person on and off the field."

  •  
  • Hall of Fame outfielder Al Kaline said late in July, 2013, that he is fascinated by the way the Nationals' Bryce Harper plays the game of baseball. Kaline loves the way Harper goes all-out on every play and is impressed by how Harper has handled the pressures of big league life at such a young age.

    "He plays the game the way it's supposed to be played," said Kaline, who is currently a special assistant to Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski. "He has tremendous ability and I expect him to go on -- if everything goes right -- to be one of the best players that ever played this game."

  • Kaline doesn't see Harper reaching a middle ground to avoid injuries.  "If you pop up to the infield, you know it's going to be an easy out, you don't go 110 percent. You make sure you get on base and may get the extra base," Kaline said. "And of course ... the walls ... he is fortunate now that he plays the outfield where the walls are all padded. When I played, they were concrete.

    "There are times -- instead of going full belt into the walls, where he might hurt himself for good -- you have to be careful. But you can't teach that. He's got to play the way he is taught and the way he has always played. He would probably feel he let the fans down if he didn't go hard all the time."

     
    Kaline and Harper share something. They both entered the big leagues as teenagers and became major players early on. At 19, Harper helped the Nats win the National League East title and won the NL Rookie of the Year Award. At 20, Kaline won the American League batting title.  In Kaline's opinion, Harper is much stronger than he ever was.

    "I've been fascinated by what he has been able to do. He's much stronger than I ever was, because I was 150, 155 pounds," Kaline said. "The only thing I would tell him is respect the game -- which it looks like he does -- take care of his body, be a good team player. If you leave this game as a good team player and gain the respect of your teammates, then you have done a great job. I know he is going to go all-out. I just hope that he stays healthy."

    Kaline is impressed with Harper's swing. The Hall of Famer believes Harper is capable of winning the home run title. Kaline is not sure if the outfielder can win a batting title like he did in 1955.

    "It looks like to me that he swings for home runs," Kaline said
    . "To me, if you swing for home runs a lot, you are not going lead the league in hitting. He is certainly capable of doing both if he puts his mind to it. He is trying to do what the team thinks he needs to do, whether it's a power hitter, he will probably try and do that. ... Whether he is able to [win the battle title and home run title], I don't know, because he is very, very aggressive at the plate." (Ladson - mlb.com - 8/01/13)

     
  • Harper, who attended seminary classes at 5 a.m. on weekdays in high school, writes "Luke 1:37" on every autograph he signs. "For with God, nothing shall be impossible." It's his own way of spreading the gospel.

  • The Nationals traveled to Toronto to play the Blue Jays midway through the 2012 season. After one game, a reporter asked if Harper would take advantage of Ontario's lower drinking age (19, versus 21 in the U.S.) by drinking a celebratory beer with his teammates.

    Harper, who is a Mormon and does not drink alcohol, replied, "I'm not going to answer that
    . That's a clown question, bro."

    The comment quickly developed into an Internet meme, and the phrase itself repeated, in response to a question, by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
    . Harper filed an application to trademark the phrase.

  • Harper announced in January 2014, that he wants an Ultimate Fighting Championship belt. No, he doesn’t want to become a fighter. He just wants one to wear, and he’s willing to hit a home run during batting practice with it if the UFC will give him one. The UFC responded by sending him a belt as long as he would take a picture hitting a home run wearing it.

  • Spring Training, 2014: He doesn't wear all-out, warrior face paint like he did in college anymore, but Bryce Harper does still enjoy playing baseball with a healthy amount of eye black. So it's only natural the Nationals star now has his own eye black company.

  •  
    WarriorBlack will be available later this spring, but Harper teased the company's unveiling Monday with a re-tweet of an advertising photo featuring the 21-year-old wearing the product, plus a hat and T-shirt sporting the company's name.

    Harper did the photo shoot a couple of weeks ago in Viera, his latest commercial endeavor.

    WarriorBlack touts itself as: "The premiere anti-glare under-eye formula availble, and the only choice for MLB superstar Bryce Harper."

  • .3em;"='""' 255);='""'>In July, 2013, Harper was the youngest National League All-Star starter in history at 20. He won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2012, and he and Tony Conigliaro are the only big leaguers with a pair of 20-homer seasons before their 21st birthday.

  • .3em;"='""' 255);='""'>Bryce's diet veers between world-class athlete and overgrown kid, which makes sense because that’s what he is. Harper pours glutamine powder into yogurt-and-fruit shakes and drops amino vitamins into homemade organic juice. He also scarfs his mom’s made-from-scratch cooking. He sneaks Klondike Bars, Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes and Double Stuff Oreos. He does not drink Red Bull or Five-Hour Energy, both full of sugar and caffeine and “absolutely terrible for you,” he said. Harper may submit to a craving for Mountain Dew but only in the offseason, and even then he takes one sip and throws the can in the trash.

  •  

    .5em>“I mean, I’m not perfect,” Harper said, laughing as he sat in the Washington Nationals’ dugout late in 2014 spring training. “I eat ice cream all the time. Outside of that, I’m going to be smart.

    Harper avoids sugary drinks, treats pain relievers with skepticism and abhors performance-enhancing drugs
    . He turned 21 in October. He says he still does not — will not — drink alcohol.

    .5em>“My body is what I work with,” Harper said. “It’s not just sitting behind a desk and I have to use my hands all day. It’s my body. This is what I have to do every single day. I come in, and I have to feel good. If you’re going out and drinking and partying, you’re not going to feel good the next day. I want to get my eight hours and be able to eat good meals and not be sluggish or anything like that. My body is my temple, and I’ve always thought that.”

     

    5em/1.5em Georgia, serif; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; MARGIN: 0px 0px 22px; LETTER-SPACING: normal; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BACKGROUND-COLOR: rgb(255,255,255); TEXT-INDENT: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px">In the winter, Harper relies on his mother for the brunt of his nutrition. Protein from grilled chicken. Healthy carbohydrates from pasta. She makes everything, from ranch dressing to spaghetti, so Harper knows he will not be putting artificial sugars in his body. “She’s unbelievable,” Harper said. “I’m very, very lucky.”

    5em/1.5em Georgia, serif; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; MARGIN: 0px 0px 22px; LETTER-SPACING: normal; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BACKGROUND-COLOR: rgb(255,255,255); TEXT-INDENT: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px">Harper adds sophistication to his mom’s cooking. He researches vitamins online to determine what supplements to use and when to use them. He uses creatine powder in cycles during the winter, typically four weeks on, two weeks off. He said amino vitamins, which his father turned him on to, are “the best thing I can put in my body.” After workouts, to maximize recovery and eliminate cramping, Harper uses glutamine powder. He adds liquid protein to drinks.

     

    5em/1.5em Georgia, serif; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; MARGIN: 0px 0px 22px; LETTER-SPACING: normal; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BACKGROUND-COLOR: rgb(255,255,255); TEXT-INDENT: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px">He will drink black coffee if he needs a jolt during the season. He uses off-market Gatorade products that do not contain sugar. Harper began making his own juice this winter and loved it — kale, cucumber, green apple and green tomato is a favorite. When he wants a late-night snack, he devours — “crushes,” in his vernacular — an avocado-and-cucumber sandwich.  (Adam Kilgore - Washington Post - 3/27/14)

     
     
    BATTING:

    • Harper has a real knack for squaring up the barrel of his bat on the ball. He has faster bat speed than Mark McGwire in his prime.

      He hits lefties and righties, offspeed stuff and hard heat.
    • His power is some of the best ever seen in a prospect, and is rated a legitimate 80 on the 20–80 scouting scale. It is almost entirely a function of his tremendous natural bat speed and the enormous torque he generates. Harper has the ability to easily backspin the ball over the fence to any part of the park.

      But occasionally, Bryce with shift his hands downward and into his body, eliminating leverage. And he does have some extra movement in his swing. Sometimes he jumps out on his front foot too early. But when he stays down and lets the ball travel, he sees pitches well and can drive them hard to the opposite field. (Spring 2012)

    • Bryce's Dad has been his lifelong hitting coach. Up at 2:00 a.m. to lay rebar to help build the Strip in Vegas, Ron Harper, a former high school baseball and football player, spent many afternoons, evenings, and weekends on the field and in the cage with Bryan and Bryce. To further sharpen Bryce's hand-eye coordination, Ron pitched him sunflower seeds, bottle tops, dried red beans—just about anything small that didn't move straight.

    • Harper has quick, strong hands and a superb bat path. But he has had some issues with getting out in front on his swing. His swing pat can be inconsistent.

      Pitches on the outside corner at the knees give him trouble.

    • Bryce is quirky: Prior to entering the batter's box, he rubs his palms in the dirt, spits in his hands and then rubs his palms in the dirt once more. He enters the box and rubs more dirt on his hands. He takes his stance, touches the corners of the plate with his bat, and taps his front toe with the bat barrel.

    • Harper is incredibly intense and aggressive in all phases of the game, including at the plate. Some scouts wonder if he'll hit for a high average because of his propensity to take huge swings with a high, exaggerated leg kick and get jumpy at the plate. But at other times he shows a much quieter, more efficient swing. Those flashes, coupled with his uncanny hand-eye coordination and impeccable work ethic, give other scouts reason to believe he'll eventually become more selective and produce for average as well as power.

      And in 2011, he improved his two-strike approach as the season progressed.

    • Harper is a throwback. He doesn't even wear batting gloves.

    • Bryce swings a 36-inch, 47-ounce bat, it was reported in February 2011.

    • He flat-out attacks the baseball. He plays aggressively in all aspects of the game.

    • Harper's dedication to preparation runs so deep that he breaks down opposing outfielders the way most hitters break down pitchers. He knows which ones take a bad at bat with them to the field and thus might get a slightly slower break to field a base hit, allowing Harper to know that one of his mad dashes to turn a single into a double isn't the risk it appears to be. (Tom Verducci-Sports Illustrated-2/25/13)

    • Part of the reason for this success is his ability to observe and analyze opposing starting pitchers.

      "As I've seen him mature from last year to this year (2013), I think he's learned not only more about the competition that he's facing but he's learning more about himself," hitting coach Rick Eckstein said. "He learns what he needs to do and what he needs to focus on and how he processes that information, and uses it for his advantage."

    As of the start of the 2014 season, Harper's career Major League stats were: .272 batting average, 42 home runs with 117 RBI's in 957 at-bats.
     
     
    FIELDING:

    • Bryce displayed solid tools behind the plate. His receiving skills were good, as are his hands and agility. He moves around well back there.
    • Harper has an exceptionally strong arm, consistently posting glove-to-glove times of 1.85–1.95 seconds when he was a catcher. His throws have terrific velocity and are on a straight line to second base.

      And he could pick off runners from his knees. He has been clocked off the mound at 96 mph. Because his throws are also accurate, his outfield arm gives him a second 80 tool, in addition to the "80" he gets for his power.

    • Bryce had been calling his own games since he was an 11-year-old catcher.

    • In the outfield, he has the arm for right field. He is working at taking more consistent jumps and routes to the ball. He has slightly above-average speed.

      Bryce is learning to stay under control when he throws. Entering 2013 spring training, it was no secret that Harper needs to learn to hit the cutoff man more often, something he worked on in spring drills a lot. (Spring, 2013)
    • Harper's hustle to back up plays in the outfield is impressive.

    • In 2011, Bryce played all three outfield positions.  He learned the importance of staying closed and using his legs when he throws, and he racked up seven assists in just 37 Double-A games while seeing his first action in left field.
     
     
    RUNNING:

    • Bryce lacks quick first step speed, but it is above-average. He runs well under way. He rates as a 55 or 60 on the 20–80 scouting scale.
    • He is an aggressive baserunner, taking the extra base. He always goes all-out, so his good speed plays up.

      He has an intense nature on the bases (and on defense).

    • On May 6, 2012: Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels intentionally hit Harper with a pitch, and admitted it. And Bryce was not upset.

      "(I'm not mad] at all," Harper said. "He is a great guy, great pitcher, he knows how to pitch, he is an All-Star. It's all good. ... Hamels threw a good game tonight. You have to give all the props to him. He came out there, he threw the ball well. There is nothing we can do about it."

      After getting drilled, Harper advanced to third on a single by Jayson Werth. Harper was then able to pay Hamels back by stealing home while the pitcher tried to pick off Werth at first base. Harper is the second player in Nationals history to steal home, and the first to do so on a straight steal. Ian Desmond stole home as part of a double steal on April 20, 2011, against the Cardinals.

      Before Bryce did it, the last swipe of home by a teenager occurred 48 years before, when Angels catcher Ed "Spanky" Kirkpatrick stole home against the Kansas City Athletics.

     
     
    CAREER INJURY REPORT:

    • August 18, 2011: Harper strained his right hamstring while  while running from first to third on Harrisburg Senator teammate Archie Gilbert's double. Harper had to be helped off the field. With two weeks left in the season, his season was over.

    • Harper left the field on May 13, 2013 after crashing into the right-field wall. He was listed as day to day with a jammed left shoulder and a cut under his chin that required 11 stitches.

      Bryce is a hustler, and that's one of the many things to love about him. He doesn't hesitate or meditate or otherwise complicate a sport that often rewards instinct, and Harper's instincts are wildly and often wondrously aggressive.

    Of course, it is Harper's infectious zeal that also serves to ruffle some feathers—sometimes even his own. After all, he certainly looked ruffled after his intimate moment with the out-of-town scoreboard at Dodger Stadium.

    Chasing an A.J. Ellis fly ball, Harper ran smack-dab into the chain-link fencing in front of the video board, a la Wile E. Coyote. They asked Harper, once the stars had stopped spinning around his head, if he would do it any differently now that he knew the outcome. If he'd hang back and play the ball off the wall—heck, the Nats were up, 6-0, at the time—rather than run it down.

    "I'm going to play this game the rest of my life and try to play as hard as I can," Harper replied. "That's my life being on the line, trying to kill myself on the field for my team, trying to win the World Series. People can laugh about it all they want, but at the end of the day, I'm going to look at myself at the mirror and say, 'I played this game as hard as I could.' "  (Anthony Castrovince-MLB.com-5/16/13)

     
  • May 27-July 1, 2013: Harper was on the D.L. with bursitis in his left knee. The knee had bothered him since he crashed into the wall in a May 13 game at the Dodgers.

    An MRI showed no structural or cartilage damage. It was just soft tissue in the bursar that was inflamed. He received cortisone and PRP injections to help with the recovery. The cortisone reduces the inflammation in the knee, while the PRP—a mixture of his own white blood cells spun down and concentrated—reduces the risk of infection.

  • October 23, 2013: Harper underwent successful surgery to repair the bursa in his left knee. Harper hurt the knee on May 13, when he slammed into the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium. The procedure was performed by Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo. Harper will resume workouts in four to six weeks and is expected to be ready for spring training.

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    Last Updated 4/17/2014. All contents © 2000 by Player Profiles. All rights reserved.