Bryce Harper had himself a skillset and a reputation. He came up to the majors at the age of 19, having posted just a .708 OPS over about a month in triple-A. With the Nationals so far, he's batted 8-for-26 with five doubles, five walks, a steal of home, and boundless energy at the plate and in the field. For the Washington Post, James Wagner wonders: is there anything Bryce Harper can't do?
Harper’s impact has not only added spark to the Nationals, especially at a time when the offense has been ravaged by injuries, it has shown that his game and style of play make him among the most electrifying and potent players in baseball.
"A lot of times, whether it’s coaches or media, you get caught up and you go, ‘Wow,’ " Porter said. "Is it ‘wow’ because he’s playing the game unlike other people? Or is he playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played? You ask me, he plays the way it’s supposed to be played. Not many guys have the ability he has."
"He’s been good," Werth said earlier this week. "He’s focused. I think he’s where he needs to be. Minor leagues is tough. Sometimes it’s tougher than people realize. I like him here with the right coaches, the right manager, the right teammates. I think that’s going to help his development than with him being anywhere else."
And so on. When Harper was first promoted, Nationals officials acknowledged that it was happening before they wanted it to, and there was reason to wonder whether Harper was ready to play at the highest level given his minor-league performances. Since Harper was promoted, he's answered all the questions, and though he doesn't yet have a home run, he's done just about everything else. To address Wagner's question, yes, there are things Bryce Harper can't do. The list of them is shorter than it is for most other baseball players.