by Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Today is Bryce Harper’s birthday, and this a gentle reminder of just how accomplished he is as Major Leaguer at 22 years old.

Harper, as notes, would still be the youngest player on the rosters of Nationals minor league affiliates Triple-A Syracuse, Double-A Harrisburg, and younger than all but three players on the Advanced Single-A Potomac Nationals.

Since being selected first overall, at 17 years old, by the Nationals in MLB’s 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Harper has amassed 55 home runs, 149 RBI and 31 stolen bases for a .272/.351/.465 (.816 OPS) career slash line through three seasons (357 games).

His career accolades include being the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year, a two-time All-Star and a Home Run Derby finalist.

And, with regard to the commonly overused comparison which doesn’t actually hold any real merit, Harper, who greatly trails the elder Mike Trout in most regular season offensive metrics, has been — albeit in an extremely limited sample — the better postseason performer. More visual proof here.

Harper seems to be thriving off the field, as well. In January, he’s set to wed his longtime girlfriend Kayla Varner, for which he even designed his own sharkskin wedding suits.

And while Nationals players have remained silent today on Twitter, and largely since being eliminated in the NLDS by the San Francisco Giants, there’s always last year’s friendly ageist Twitter banter between Harper and Denard Span on the former’s 21st birthday on which to hang your cap.

Happy birthday, Bryce Harper. You’ve accomplished so much in 21 years.

At least, more on the diamond than most 22 year olds.

The best, likely, has yet to come.


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