Reporting Eric Bickel ‘EB’
I had no idea if Bryce Harper was as good as advertised before his recent call up to the Washington Nationals last week. Sure I read the Sports Illustrated that came out when he was 16. I followed his exploits like everybody else through the media’s fascination with another potential sports prodigy. When he was written about or profiled I paid attention.
But I had never seen him play for myself before this week. I didn’t see him play in Bowie or pay attention to any spring training coverage.
For some reason I just wanted to wait and see what he had when he made his big league debut.
Already less than a week in I’ve seen enough. I think we all have. The kid is for real. He’s got it all. Power, speed, the arm, enthusiasm, hustle. What’s missing? Maybe humility? Who cares.
Actually a good hair cut is missing. But again…who cares. He can have bad hair for 20 years if he can keep up what he’s already brought to the Nats since he’s been here.
It stinks the Nats kept losing in Harper’s first few games. But it wasn’t his fault. Every game he’s played in he’s done something spectacular. Either beating out an infield hit, crushing doubles off the wall, driving in go ahead runs or gunning guys down from the outfield. He can even catch balls barehanded when he misplays them.
When Mike Rizzo said he was assuming this call up would be temporary so that Bryce could get back on the program and get in his .250 to .300 Triple-A at bats I believed him. Why rush a prodigy and stunt his development? What if he loses confidence?
As Davey Johnson says the kid was born to play baseball in tough situations. Nothing appears to shake him. The only question at this point is when Davey would move him up in the line up from 7th. Even that has been answered already.
He’s batting 3rd tonight.