Former Chiefs Player Moves on to Washington Nationals
by Mike Meyer and Max Bregande
Photo courtesy of espn.go.com
The Washington Nationals have yet another young phenom on their hands this season. Bryce Harper has quickly made a name for himself in the big leagues this season after moving through the minor league system rather quickly, playing in only 57 games before reaching the big stage. Harper has been renowned as the next big thing in baseball according to many baseball analysts and experts of the game.
“I knew about him because he played in Syracuse but I didn’t know he would become such a big deal,” said senior Varsity Softball member Mary Young.
Harper makes his debut for the Washington Nationals just two years after his teammate Stephen Strasburg, who made headlines himself as a rookie in 2010. Both Harper and Strasburg were the overall number one draft picks selected by the Nationals. Neither of them are strangers to Syracuse; they both spent time here playing for the Triple A Chiefs.
“Watching them both play here in Syracuse was something I’ll never forget,” said sophomore Paul Fitzgibbons. “That is the kind of talent you only see once a lifetime,” he added.
All eyes have been on Harper this year since Opening Day despite the fact that Harper started off the year in Triple A. He has been a one man highlight reel thus far making several diving catches and hitting his first big league home run against the San Diego Padres on May 14.
“He’s a monster,” said senior Varsity Baseball member Eric Thompson; “he will definitely be one of the more dominant players in the majors within the next five years.”
He also stole home against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 6 after being intentionally hit in the back by pitcher Cole Hamels. After getting plunked Harper went from first to third on a single hit by former Phillie Jayson Werth and proceeded to then steal home.
“After I saw that I had to admit that he was legit,” said Fitzgibbons. “Nobody does that kind of stuff as a 19-year-old.”
Despite his production so far, many people feel that Harper still has a lot of growing up to do. When things go wrong for the phenom he has been known to lose his cool at times. His immaturity showed against the Cincinnati Reds when Harper slammed his bat against a wall in the dugout, which ended up splintering and striking Harper in the head. The result of this freak-out was 10 stitches on a gash above his eye.
“He is really young and with more experience in the big leagues he will become more mature,” said Young; “he just needs time.”
However the fans have a lot of faith in the youngster hoping that his talents can help make Washington a contender in the postseason. The new question arises as to whether or not the fans expectations will be met.
“I think within the next five years they could possibly make a run,” said Thompson. “It all depends on if their stars can stay healthy,” he said. Seniors Matt Yonta and Brad Kogut, also members of the Varsity Baseball team, agree with Thompson. The trio believe that within the next five years the Washington Nationals will be a force to be reckoned with in the major leagues, provided that their young talent stay healthy.