Bryce Harper was born on October 16, 1992.
On June 12, 2012, Bryce Harper went three-for-four with a long home run in a win against the Blue Jays. According to the Associated Press recap of that game, Harper had this to say about his night:
“I don’t really hit big home runs. It’s usually just line drives that get going. That was a pretty good one tonight.”
I suppose it’s reasonable to generalize based on a season in the minor leagues and a few years of high school and American Legion games. Harper does have a 25% line drive rate this year, well above league average and better than David Wright and Giancarlo Stanton, among others, this season. He did hit more doubles (37) than homers (25) in his minor league career, and added seven triples for good measure. Still, is 40 major league games enough to use the word “usually”?
Harper’s next line:
“At the beginning of the year, I usually struggle and then once I get going, it’s scary. I’ve always said that.”
Well, there you have it. Old Man Harper has been saying that for years. Ever since, well, 2012, when Harper went just six for his first 18 with four doubles. Or maybe he’s taking us all the way back to 2011, when he hit .333/.400/.634 in 25 games of rookie ball before putting up essentially the same numbers at single A and fading predictably at the higher levels.
The Nationals are in good hands for the foreseeable future with Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and the two Zimmerman(n)s. They’ll win a lot of games. They’ll also get a lot of good quotes.
After all, Old Hoss Harper’s been around the block a few times. And he’s still heating up.