Monday, February 21, 2011

Bryce Harper arrives

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Bryce Harper takes a break following his first round of batting practice at Nats camp.
Read my full, updated story on CSNwashington.com

VIERA, Fla. -- Bryce Harper arrived at Nationals camp this morning with a flourish, creating a buzz as soon as he walked onto the practice fields down the street from Space Coast Stadium.

The 18-year-old outfielder, among the top prospects in baseball, joined other position players in an informal workout the day before the Nationals conduct their first full-squad session. During a round of batting practice with a pack of fans and media members watching, Harper clubbed several home runs.

Afterward, he was mobbed by several dozen fans seeking autographs.

Last summer's No. 1 draft pick out of the College of Southern Nevada, Harper is in big-league camp despite having never attended spring training before. He's all but certain to open the season at low-Class A Hagerstown, but team officials want him to get the experience playing alongside veteran major-leaguers this spring.

The Nationals PR staff, which is expected to limit access to Harper throughout his first professional season, won't allow him to speak to the media until after tomorrow's official workout.

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Harper warms up playing catch with Roger Bernadina.

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
A pack of several dozen fans seeking autographs surrounds Harper after the workout.

13 comments:

joemktg said...

How long before we start replacing Chuck Norris jokes with Bryce Harper?

Andrew said...

Glad to hear the Nats PR staff with limit Bryce Harper's exposure. He is 18 years old and isn't a sideshow. I hope they do the same while he is in the Minors.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

That's not eyeblack, that's the residue of people who dared recycle old Chuck Norris jokes in his presence.

Anonymous said...

@Joemktg there is already a website bryceharperfacts.com

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Just under five minutes, but we're not in mid-season form yet.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure every single one of the guys in their 50s standing around waiting for Harper to sign is doing it because he's a die-hard collectors.... that's it, ruin it for everyone.... wait till Viera turns into Tradition FIeld...

BinM said...

Three weeks in camp, then he gets optioned is my best current guess. The circus just might need to 'get out of town early' to let Harper become a player again, not just a gate attraction.

mjr said...

That's not a tattoo peeking out from under his right sleeve, is it?

Jim Webster said...

mjr ... let's hope it's just a T shirt.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

It's definitely a tee shirt.

mjr said...

Oh good. Not that it's uncommon among high-schoolers or that I'm a prude when it comes to body decoration but I didn't want to think that our brand-spanking shiny new Mormon slugger was already sporting permanent body ink. (At least eye-black washes off.)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Which reminds me ... he'll be needing a nickname.

Anonymous said...

He already has a nickname: "Oppoboppo".

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