In 2009 Bryce Harper, who was a 16 year-old high school student, was called the “Chosen One” by Sports Illustrated. Now in his first Major League season Harper has lived up to the hype by making the All-Star team and has helped position the Washington Nationals for their first playoff run come September.
Harper grew up in Las Vegas and played baseball all over on highly competitive teams starting at 3 years-old. After growing up, Harper played two years of high school baseball before he completed his GED test and enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada. The school was close to home but also played with wooden bats in conference play which better prepared Harper for his early jump to the pros.
On June 7 2010 Bryce Harper was drafted No. 1 over all by the Washington Nationals and changed positions from catcher to outfield to extend his career and help him develop faster. Harper was introduced as a member of the team in August after signing a 7-year $18.9 million contract.
After a year in the minors Harper was called up to the Nationals on April 27, 2012 fallowing an injury to Ryan Zimmerman. Harper then made his MLB debut in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. It was less than a month later that Harper recorded his first home run on May 14, off of pitcher Tim Stauffer of the San Diego Padres. With the home run Harper became the youngest player to hit a home run since Adrian Beltre.
Harper did not stop there he has now has 10 home runs with 32 RBI’s. With a little over a month left in the regular season, Harper’s performance has help place the Nationals atop the MLB and are looking to make the first playoff appearance for the team.
If Washington is going to make a deep playoff run and challenge for the World Series, Harper and his teammate will have to step up following the news that pitching ace and 2009 No. 1 pick Stephen Strasburg will miss the playoffs due to an innings limit on his arm.
Even without fellow No.1 pick Strasburg Harper will likely take baseball’s biggest stage in his first season and who knows what else this young player has in store for the rest of his career.
For more photos of Bryce Harper check out Newscom.
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