Photo: Getty Images/Christian Petersen
Teenage phenom Bryce Harper’s time in the big leagues has finally arrived.Harper made his highly-anticipated debut in the outfield with the Washington Nationals over the weekend.
Despite a poor start at AAA Syracuse, Harper got a chance with the big club sooner than expected after third baseman Ryan Zimmerman went down with an injury.
From the time MLB scouts began attending his games, Harper has been mentioned in the same breath as some of the game’s biggest stars (A-Rod, Griffey, et al).
Not even 20 years old yet, many think Harper has a lot of maturing to do before he can hit the big time, though.
Regardless, his first two games in the majors were solid enough (2-for-6, 1 RBI, good defence) to show that there’s plenty of promise in this 19-year-old star.
Bryce Harper was always destined for baseball stardom, as he routinely won awards growing up in Nevada
Harper hype reached its peak when Sports Illustrated put him on the cover in June 2009, comparing him to fellow teenage-phenom LeBron James
Harper got his GED after his sophomore year of high school in December 2009 to speed up his MLB arrival. He was only 16 at the time
Harper then tore it up at College of Southern Nevada (.443 AVG, 31 HR, 98 RBI), winning the award for best amateur baseball player in preparation for the 2010 MLB Draft
The Washington Nationals took Harper first overall in the 2010 MLB Draft and signed him to a record-breaking 5-year, $9.9 million deal
He posted huge minor league and spring training numbers in 2010 and 2011, respectively, but the Nats didn't speed up his development and kept him in the farm system through the end of the year
Harper hit a bit of a snag at the beginning of his 2011 minor league season before it was discovered he needed contact lenses. He hit .480 in the 20 games after
Harper's arrogance drew national attention in summer 2011 when he blew a kiss at an opposing pitcher after staring at his home run shot way too long
He followed up that childish act by getting in an umpire's face later that summer after not liking a third strike call
Controversy and all, the Nats desperately needed some help in the lineup after third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was put on the DL, so Harper was called up to the big leagues April 27, 2012
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