Bryce Harper Newsbeat
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Schu scanned through video and found film of Harper hitting. He arranged clips of Harper and Ruth side-by-side on the monitor and stopped at the moment each hitter’s bat connected with a pitch. In each still picture, he saw a stiff front leg, an uncoiling torso and a back foot lifting off the ground. “Wow,” he thought. “That’s identical.”
“They’ve got that exact same swing at contact point,” Schu said later.
The Kid may need to put on some weight.
RTFA. Lots of video & graphics on Harper’s swing and how he’s pitched to.
Friday, April 05, 2013
“We just thought it was pretty cool,” Santangelo said early in Thursday’s broadcast. “When you watch Babe Ruth’s swing on the left, watch his back foot come off the ground at contact. Now we’ll move over to Bryce Harper on the right-hand side, and we’ve seen this before – at contact, foot off the ground.
“They’re both hitting off a firm front side,” Santangelo continued. “It creates so much torque and power throughout the course of their swing that it’s almost impossible to keep that back foot on the ground. If you did, there’d be so much pressure on the hip it couldn’t take it. So guys that swing violently like that have to release the back side off the firm front side. And if you’ve ever watched Tiger Woods hit a driver, same kind of deal — his back foot comes off the ground, he creates so much club speed. Same with Bryce Harper.
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
What struck me, when looking at Harper’s home runs on Monday, was how familiar they seemed–not to baseball players and fans, but to devotees of the other great ball-and-bat sport on this planet: Cricket. To answer Stu’s question directly, the body of cricket scholarship suggests that Harper can be very successful indeed with his “unorthodox” mechanics–because, at least as they presented themselves on Monday, they were perfectly orthodox cricket batting mechanics.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Is Harper better than Joe Hardy?
Let’s imagine what Harper, who had the best overall season of any teenager in big league history last year, might do if he has, say, one of the best 20 seasons of any 20-year-old.
. . .
Most projections for Harper put him into the wrong category: all ballplayers. Compared to everybody, anyone’s chances of being superb look dim. But what if we compare Harper to a more accurate peer group: No. 1 overall draft picks taken out of high school that played power positions? Since the 1977 draft, here is the list of just successes: Harold Baines, Darryl Strawberry, Griffey, Chipper Jones, A-Rod, Josh Hamilton, Adrian Gonzalez and Joe Mauer (three batting titles by 27). Justin Upton’s grade is “incomplete,” but he is a cautionary note for Harper fans. At 20, he was as good a hitter (per at-bat) as Harper at 19, but six years later, he isn’t any better.
When these No. 1 overall picks became established in the majors, they almost always got better dramatically. The younger they arrived, the more they improved. Who flopped? Only Al Chambers, Shawn Abner and mediocre Delmon Young, who hit .288 as a rookie at 21 but never got better.
. . .
The possibility of an outlandish season is far from outlandish.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Bryce Harper was one of the many Nationals stars to shine his light on NatsFest Saturday and pay a visit to 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny, where he shared the very enviable stories of being able to exchange words, and memorabilia, with some baseball legends.
With the acquisition of Denard Span, Harper – who played center field last season – is expected to shift to one of the corner outfield positions for the 2013 season. He was asked whether he’s been informed if he’ll be in left or right.
“I play center, sorry Denard,” Harper joked. “They haven’t really talked to me about it. I would think left field.”
One week prior to NatsFest, baseball suffered a devastating loss with the passing of one of the all-time greats in Stan Musial, at age 92. Although there was roughly 73 years between him and Harper, apparently there was a mutual admiration.
“He asked me for a jersey last year,” Harper said. “I was lucky enough to get one back from him. What a tough loss for the baseball world.”
Shocked by the revelation that a Hall of Famer – one of the most dominant hitters to ever play the game of baseball – would want the jersey of a 19-year-old kid, the guys asked Harper how a generational exchange of that magnitude was arranged, and what it must have felt like.
“They just said ‘Hey, we need a jersey signed’ and I said ‘Ok, to who?’ and they said (Musial) and …wow.”
Harper revealed he also had the opportunity to meet a more recent baseball icon, one perhaps more comparable to Harper’s introduction to Major League Baseball, in Ken Griffey Jr.
“It was this past year in Spring Training,” Harper said. “It was really cool to be able to ask him some questions about his first year in the big leagues and being up there at 19.”
“He said don’t change. Just do the things you do and make sure your team wins.”
He hasn’t yet, however, had the chance to meet another present-day icon; quarterback for the Washington Redskins, Robert Griffin III.
“First of all, I like his socks,” Harper said. “Every Sunday, I wore his Adidas socks. I’d wear them to church. He can do everything Michael Vick can do and Tom Brady can do.”
Harper understood Griffin’s decision to push his knee to it’s absolute threshold in Washington’s playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
“He’s the captain of that team. I would have done the same thing,” Harper said. “He wanted that game so bad. If I’m in Game 5 of the division series and I’m trying to win this game, I’m playing with a broken hand or a broken arm or anything I can do to help my team.”
Per usual, Harper kept his personal goals for the upcoming baseball season closely guarded by putting team goals ahead of his own.
“I write down a certain amount of goals every single year and try to exceed that. Hopefully if I exceed those, we’re winning at the same time. I want to win.”
And in case you were wondering, two very specific words also left his mouth:
for his generous support.
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