Bryce Harper Focused Improving Speed, Winning World Series
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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — Receiving awards is nice, but Bryce Harper is more concerned with winning a World Series title and improving his speed.
The 20-year-old received 16 of 32 first-place votes in National League Rookie of the Year polling.
“The accolades are great, but I want to win a ring,” Harper told 106. 7 The Fan’s Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier.
He was the top pick in the 2010 amateur draft and batted .270 with 22 home runs and 59 RBIs as Washington brought postseason play to the nation’s capital for the first time since 1933. Only Tony Conigliaro (24) hit more home runs as a teenager.
Harper wants more and is willing to work for it.
“I’m going to lift a lot and get as big as I can,” he said.
But round-trippers aren’t Harper’s main focus this offseason. The outfield is intent on improving his speed.
“The biggest thing I want to do is steal more bags next year,” he said. “(I want) to get better jumps.”
To accomplish the feat he is running bases with a parachute.
At 20 years, 27 days on Monday, he was 24 days older than New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden when he won the NL award in 1984.
Harper, who did not watch baseball after the Nationals were eliminated from the postseason, believes Davey Johnson has a winning club on his hands and can make a play into late October.
He credits teammate Jayson Werth with helping to challenge and push him during his award winning year.
“He makes you work hard… having him by my side, and him taking me under his wing and telling me when I looked stupid out there it was really good to have him around me,” he said.
(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)