Bryce Harper reflects on career on four-year anniversary of MLB debut
A 19-year-old Bryce Harper made his MLB debut for the Washington Nationals four years ago to the day on Thursday. To help mark the anniversary, the reigning NL MVP took some time to reflect upon his rapid rise to becoming arguably the best player in baseball.
While many experts and pundits had been projecting very big things for Harper since he was touted as baseball’s “Next Big Thing” while growing up in Las Vegas, the case can be made that the slugger’s metamorphosis from brash teenage prodigy to elite ballplayer arrived perhaps sooner than some predicted.
Asked if he was surprised how about how far he’s come so quickly, Harper didn’t bat an eye.
“I don’t think you can ever really be surprised,” he said, via ESPN’s Eddie Matz. “Going into what you do, you have to have the dreams and aspirations to hopefully be the best player in the world. I think that every single day I come in here and try to do everything I can to help this team win on a daily basis. If I can do that, then that’s what I want to do. I’m going to play hard and do everything I can to look at myself in the mirror at night and say that I gave it my all. That’s one thing that I’ve always prided myself on.”
Harper has had his fair share of critics — even among his own MLB colleagues (and one very vocal former ballplayer) — as he navigated his first few years in the big leagues. But he’s nevertheless been able to back up his supposed cocky demeanor by becoming the youngest player ever to unanimously win an MVP award.
But Harper doesn’t seem ready to rest on his laurels anytime soon, as he mentioned how he hopes to round out his game by becoming a better outfielder. In fact, the Silver Slugger winner hopes to one day add a Gold Glove to his expanding trophy case.
Given his blazing hot start to the 2016 MLB season, Harper obviously should be expected to continue making headlines with his play … not to mention his antics off of it in his bid to make the “tired” game of baseball “fun again” as he put it.
Given he’s already been anointed as the “spokesman for this generation” by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, there’s arguably nowhere to go but up for Bryce Harper … not that he doesn’t take time to reflect on his meteoric rise.
“It goes by so quick,” he said. “Everybody always tells you to enjoy it as much as you can, and I think I have.”