By Brad VanFossan
The only person who can derail the Washington Nationals Bryce Harper from being a superstar is Bryce Harper. If he eliminates throwing bats off of walls in frustration that bounce off and cut his face he should be fine. In all seriousness, I know there have been other younger players, well not very many, but there have been the Ken Griffey Jr's and Alex Rodriguez's of the world, but they were not arriving on the scene in the era of twitter, facebook, and just the internet in general.
Since debuting on April 28 vs. the Dodgers, Harper is hitting .264 with two home runs and 9 RBI's. Not too shabby for a teenager. The thing that impresses me most is that Harper hasn't had a prolonged slump, having gone no more than two games in a row without a hit, and his worst slump has been 0 for 9. I'm sure now that I wrote that he'll go 0 for his next 20 and get sent back down to the minors, so I'll prepare to take sole responsibility for that happening.
And then there's the whole immaturity label that the media has put on Harper. To this I say, how mature were you and I when we were 19? And we didn't have millions of dollars on the horizon waiting for us. I would have been even dumber and more arrogant at 19 if I was a millionaire at that point, that's just the way life goes. But so far, it seems as if Harper's teammates have welcomed him, as they greeted him after his first home run, usually rookies get the silent treatment after this happens. And as far as I've seen in every interview, Bryce has said all the right things, even after purposely getting hit by a 93mph fastball from Cole Hamels, in which Hamels admitted that he threw at Harper on purpose as a welcome to the show kind of thing, or I'm a little jealous of you kind of thing. To me it was somewhere in the middle of the two.
Did I say this kid was 19? That's what makes it all the more amazing to me. A combination of hitting, hitting for power, speed and defense, all at an above average level, at the major league level as a teenager. Unbelievable. Sure I'm sucking up a bit, and Bryce Harper kinda has that Tim Tebow thing going, where everyone either hates him or loves him, but it seems with Harper more people hate him. Jealousy is such a petty but powerful thing. People need to let it go and enjoy watching history being made, in the city where history reigns supreme...........Washington D.C.