Bryce Harper swings a big stick

2011 February 3
by Don Hammack

Bryce Harper signed the largest contract by a drafted position player in Major League Baseball history last year (five years, $9.9 million). The Washington Nationals selected him with the first overall pick when he was just a 17-year-old kid. Now, he’s all of 18, and working out by taking batting practice in a cage with a 36-inch, 47-ounce bat.

I’m pretty sure I was using a 34-inch, 32-ounce bat playing at my highest level (um, weak-hitting high school middle infielder). I wasn’t getting that toothpick around anywhere like this guy.

As a Nationals fan, I’m drooling over the potential Harper has. He’s rated the second overall prospect on one ESPN.com list. As a longtime fan of the New Orleans Saints and Mississippi State Bulldogs, I’m more than a little concerned that he’s a freak injury away from mediocrity, or that he’ll just be flat out disappointing. But the Nats can’t be terrible forever, can they?

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