By: Nick Thorp
For the last three weeks Bryce Harper has been on the definition of a streak in the NL East. He sees everything as clear as day, and has been punishing pitcher after pitcher. He may not be leading in every category of the Triple Crown, but he is leading the NL in home runs, RBIs, on-base percentage, walks, slugging percentage, and is tied for runs. This perennial all-star is finally breaking out of the chains that have held him back the last three years. But what is it that has changed?
He has finally grown into the player that he was always touted to be, and all of the hard work that the batting coaches have put in are finally coming into fruition. He is not the Bryce of old, that would swing at every inside pitch with the intent to destroy the stitches on the ball. He has grown up and is waiting for the pitches. When he is down in a count, he is finally starting to understand that it is much better for him to actually get on base than for him to crank a 400-footer.
The other small thing to pay attention to, is that it seems that he has found a comfortable weight to stay at during a season. Last season he sauntered into spring training at 230 pounds, and even said that he wanted to be up to 250 pounds by this year. However, he decided to regress, and it seems that it is paying off. He is now hovering between 205 and 207 pounds, and it seems like this is a perfect weight for his power to stay intact and for him to stay healthy.
The best is yet to come for this young star, and it would not be outlandish to see an MVP award stuck to him by the end of the year, from what we have seen so far. So knock on some wood, and let’s enjoy watching him make pitchers fear to throw him the fastball, this season.