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Bryce Harper goes long at batting practice

Washington Nationals top pick Bryce Harper took batting practice today at Nationals Park before his introductory news conference, and in front of team executives, agent Scott Boras, players from both teams and a throng of media he promptly deposited a pitch into the third deck in right field.

That display of power has been a rarity at Nationals Park. Only Adam Dunn has hit it to that area during a game this season, and Harper is only 17 years old.

In his second round, Harper homered to right center approximately five rows deep, then belted three homers in a subsequent round. He hit another ball over the letter E in GEICO adorning the wall in center, and later sent one into the lower deck.

Harper's best power output came in his final round of batting practice, when he homered on three straight pitches. The first landed in the left field bullpen, the next in the right field bullpen and the third to straightaway center field.

By Gene Wang  |  August 26, 2010; 3:40 PM ET
Categories:  Bryce Harper  
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Next: Phillies fan defends Nyjer Morgan

Comments

START HIM TONIGHT!

;-)

Posted by: Kev29 | August 26, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

So, does he get to take part in BP because he has a major league contract and is on the 40-man roster?

When are they painting the seat white? ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 26, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Do we get to see any video links to his BP?

Posted by: 1of9000 | August 26, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Was Dunn seen approaching him for advice?

Posted by: FeelWood | August 26, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Bryce Harper is the incarnation of Sid Finch as a position player.

Legendary stories to follow for the next 30 years...

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 26, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Did Pop Fisher storm out of the dugout and demand to see his bat?

Posted by: horacemann | August 26, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Start Harper instead of Dunn! Bryce can't be any worse a fielder than Adam, can he...? :-)

Posted by: Juan-John1 | August 26, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

With heavy emphasis on the word "incarnation," we all hope, joe.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 26, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Did Pop Fisher storm out of the dugout and demand to see his bat?

Posted by: horacemann | August 26, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse
Here's hoping he knocks the cover off of the ball.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | August 26, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Watch sports center - i'm sure they'll have something.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | August 26, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Woo Hoo! - Activate him immediately, and DFA Mench. He's the 2nd coming, just because he rips BP pitches; (I'm only half-kidding on this one).

On a serious note, get the kid up to VT for 10 games, then to Viera for the Instructional League, to see what he can do against 'professional' pitching.

Posted by: BinM | August 26, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

On a serious note, get the kid up to VT for 10 games, then to Viera for the Instructional League, to see what he can do against 'professional' pitching.

Posted by: BinM | August 26, 2010 4:13 PM

He's going to Arizona in the fall too, isn't he?

Posted by: Kev29 | August 26, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

BinM, I'm such a local that when you wrote "VT", I thought you meant Virginia Tech...

I think they should let him take batting practice between innings tonight. It might be more entertaining than the game.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 26, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I know of some minor leagues teams that are very happy right now !!

Posted by: CBinDC1 | August 26, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

This is good news, but can Harper hit curveballs yet? Change-ups? Sliders? How fast do junior college pitchers throw fastballs?

The difference between harper and Strasburg is this:

Strasburg could pitch against MLB hitters the day he was drafted. Harper won't be able to do that for a year. It will take time for him to adjust to the style and pace of MLB, like Strasburg is.

Posted by: jboogie1 | August 26, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

He maybe the first player to hit a home run in AA and have it land in AAA

Posted by: CBinDC1 | August 26, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

He's 17. Nobody expects him up here before 2013 at the earliest, if everything goes well.

Relax. He'll learn.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 26, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

While we're at it, let's see if he can play C for the Redskins.

Posted by: jboogie1 | August 26, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Giggedy!!!

Posted by: trezmartin | August 26, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

He's 17. Nobody expects him up here before 2013 at the earliest, if everything goes well.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 26, 2010 4:38 PM

If I got decent odds, I'd put a bet on him wearing a Nationals uniform at some point in 2012.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 26, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

PEOPLE THE REAL QUESTION IS.......
WHAT NUMBER WAS HE WEARING??????

Posted by: frediemac1 | August 26, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Boras made the Nats include a provision in Harper's contract to call him up in September 2012 (or 2011 if ya really wanna go nuts) for only a couple days just to get his service calendar started.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | August 26, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

If MASN carries the presser live at 5:45, maybe they'll have some BP footage on there.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 26, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

No uni number in the photo on Zuckerman's site, frediemac (assuming you're serious).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 26, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

This is good news, but can Harper hit curveballs yet? Change-ups? Sliders? How fast do junior college pitchers throw fastballs?

The difference between harper and Strasburg is this:

Strasburg could pitch against MLB hitters the day he was drafted. Harper won't be able to do that for a year. It will take time for him to adjust to the style and pace of MLB, like Strasburg is.

Posted by: jboogie1 | August 26, 2010 4:35 PM
-------------------------------
JuCo pitchers at the level of JuCo that Harper was playing are as good as, if not better than, minor league (and some major league) pitchers. They're not kids that aren't good enough to play at a four-year school -- it's quite the opposite for some of them, since a lot of them go to JuCo so they can be drafted after their first year of college, instead of having to wait until after their junior year if they went to a four-year school.

Harper has seen pitching in JuCo that's just as good as most of the minor league pitching he'll see, and he has dominated. This kid is the real deal. He could probably play at least high A or AA today and do very well. But giving him a year or two to acclimate to playing every day is a good idea -- and then when he's here in NatsTown, he'll dominate some more...

Posted by: gr8day4bsbll | August 26, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

fyi, you might want to check out the new post on the Nyjer episode. There is an eyewitness account from a Phillies fan, one in which Morgan comes off far better than in various accounts around the Internetz today.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 26, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't care who's pitching -- a ball into the 3d deck in Nats Park is a legitimate BOMB. Wow.

Posted by: Tom Jackman | August 26, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Great. Now which team did he beat single-handedly?

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | August 26, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Someone please explain this clause in his contract that does not allow him to play in the Gulf Coast League. He has been sitting on his ass for two weeks where he could have been getting a taste of organized baseball.

Posted by: MKadyman | August 26, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Are we sure this kids not on Roids? Sounds too good to be clean.

Posted by: chillwill1 | August 26, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Only in DC does a kid hitting homers in batting practice make the front page of the paper.

Posted by: Shimmer | August 26, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

In a related move, Washington Nationals management has petitioned Major League Baseball to allow the Nationals to replace the opposing team's pitcher with their own batting practice pitcher. As of 5:32 p.m., no word from MLB headquarters in New York City on this. "It's only fair," said superagent and perpetual money hound Scott Bore-Us. "Bryce is all for it."

Posted by: Craig_Colgan | August 26, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm with MKadyman, The Kid should have been spending the past couple of weeks getting indoctrinated to pro ball in the minors.

Hopefully he's on an early AM plane to Florida or New England and is suiting up - and starting - for a minor league team this time tomorrow.

Posted by: mercedeskk | August 26, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

@jboogie1- I thought Harper was a catcher. I didn't even know he could pitch.

Posted by: jwash4472 | August 26, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully he's on an early AM plane to Florida or New England and is suiting up - and starting - for a minor league team this time tomorrow.

Posted by: mercedeskk | August 26, 2010 5:35 PM

He's not going to play in organized games for a little while... Relax. He's got plenty of time to ease into things. Only guys like Storen race to get from signing early to the field, because everyone knew he'd be MLB ready very soon. It's a different world for a 17 year old Boras client.

Be patient and get ready to check him out in Hagerstown next summer. And he'll get plenty of ball in this Fall, apparently.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 26, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the first comment -- START HIM TONIGHT!!!

Posted by: john24 | August 26, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Only in DC does a kid hitting homers in batting practice make the front page of the paper.

Posted by: Shimmer | August 26, 2010 5:33 PM

Wait, so are you insinuating that we care so much about our team that it's front page news? Most wouldn't. Or are you insinuating that the Post covers the team too much? Most wouldn't. Or are you insinuating that batting practice is news because the team that no one watches is bad and being covered too much?

Oh and maybe you should try to figure out the difference between "the front page of the paper" and a newspaper related web page that's updated about every 15 seconds, 24 hours a day.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 26, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Where is the VIDEO? I'm sure someone had a Video Camara or video phone with good sharp video....

Posted by: QuietStormX | August 26, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Damn, the WaPo picture shows him taking BP without a Batting Helmet on??? Not too bright.

Posted by: lek91091 | August 26, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Only in (philly,baltimore,NY) do people come to other people's newspapers just to try and sh(i)t on the parade? What's wrong with getting excited about someone who by just about any account is worth getting excited about?

nice job Kev lol

Posted by: Alisterio | August 26, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Someone please tell the rookie that the fohawk is already out of style. Why not just grow a mullet?

Posted by: dbeins | August 26, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

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