Legendary baseball analyst Peter Gammons joined “The Mike Wise Show” to discuss Nationals leftfielder Bryce Harper’s surprising performance and the Nationals game on Monday.
Gammons emphasized how impressed he is with Harper’s knowledge of baseball history, which he said is surprising for the young player’s age group.
Gammons said Harper, 19, had a genuine excitement to play in Fenway Park and said he was excited to stand in a batter’s box that legendary Boston Red Sox’s left-fielder Ted Williams once stood in.
“The jump is from low, minor leagues to the big leagues,” Gammons said. “He is highly intelligent when it comes to baseball; he has such an understanding of what he does and what his swing is.”
Harper gets his power at bat from his hands, according to Gammons.
“I’m amazed by talking to him, this guy is 19 years old, and understands hitting the way he does,” Gammons said.
The Nationals 6-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday was a return to the starting lineup for Harper who was held from the starting lineup Sunday due to back pain.
Harper went 3-for-4 with an RBI, scored twice and stole a base against the Blue Jays.
Mike Wise asked if Gammons believes the Nationals will be a “bona fide playoff team”, considering their lack of offense and heavy pitching dependency.
Gammons said one of the biggest factors will be how many innings Jordan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez will pitch.
“If they get there, they’re going to be really dangerous in the playoffs, because that pitching is so good,” Gammons said. “It’s a wild division, but they’re legitimate contenders.”