WASHINGTON — Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper hit a home run so far, so fast in his first Spring Training at-bat that the TV crew for the New York Mets coined a new term:
“Crashing” a home run is probably a worthy description for Harper’s assault on the center-middle fastball, which nearly left the fan seating area behind right-centerfield.
It’s also not the first time Harper has sent off fireworks in his first at-bat.
In his first at-bat of the 2016 regular season, Harper launched a bullet off of Julio Teheran of the Atlanta Braves:
Back in 2013, he hit a pair of home runs in his first two at-bats of the season, including this beauty off of Miami Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco (via SB Nation):
And Harper doesn’t just check his calendar before crashing home runs. He also handles long layoffs well, like the time in 2013 that he homered on the first pitch after coming off the disabled list. He did the same thing again in July of 2014, on his second pitch back.
During his 2015 campaign, teams stopped pitching to him and for good reason. On September 3, he was walked four times and did not swing at any of the 20 pitches he was given. The next night, he hit the longest home run of his career, a 453-foot blast off of his old friend Teheran.
So while Saturday’s deep drive is nothing new for the slugger, it’s always good to see Harper in midseason form in February.
Let’s take another look at that sweet Spring swing: