To understand just how good Bryce Harper’s solo homer last night off of Livan Hernandez was it is important to understand the entirety of the situation. Bryce Harper is a 19 year old rookie who got a GED so that he could get drafted a year early just two seasons ago. Livan Hernandez is a veteran pitcher who for years has made many an aggressive batter look foolish, and that is exactly what happened during their first encounter last evening. Harper came out of his shoes to swing at a slow breaking pitch and fouled it back into the screen. On the very next pitch Livan threw one even slower and Harper took one of the ugliest swings a baseball fan will ever see. Livan had abused Harper like he has many a batter for many a season, but that wasn’t to be the final meeting of the evening.
Later in the game Harper came to bat against Livo once more and he was about to use the lesson he just learned. In the previous at bat Livan had made Harper look foolish by using his aggressiveness against him. Harper realized than in order to get to Livan he had to keep his hands back and his swing under control. In order to hit it out of the park off of Livan, Harper had to remain under control. After looking at the first slider Livan threw for strike one Harper kept his hands backed and lashed at the second one and with his amazing bat speed he was able to blast it deep into the right field bleachers. A no doubter that is just another amazing moment in what has already been 27 games of amazing moments for Harper.
From stealing home to hitting triples off of Roy Halladay, Bryce Harper has done something in almost every game to show that not only does he belong in the majors at the age of 19 but that perhaps the majors isn’t yet ready for him. He has already hustled singles into doubles making both veteran Juan Pierre and fellow phenom Jason Heyward look foolish. The scariest thing about Bryce Harper is that he doesn’t feel he is locked in. He currently has a batting line of .287/.376/.525. Forget for a second that Harper is a rookie or that he is 19. His .901 OPS ranks him 16th among all major league outfielders with at least 100 plate appearances.
Harper’s homer last night was just one further example of how good he is and how could he can be. Once Harper fully adjusts to the majors that is when things will get real interesting. If what Harper says is true and he isn’t fully locked in then what that looks like is going to be a scary thing.