Bryce Harper is a well-known American baseball right-fielder who plays for the Washington Nationals of the Major League Baseball. He was chosen by the team during the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. In his stint with them so far, he has proved his worth as an efficient player. He was ranked as a top-3 prospect by the prospect watchers, such as Baseball America, MLB.com, and Prospectus. He also got selected for the 2012 All-Star Game, which made him the youngest position player to have ever been selected. He was awarded the ‘NL Rookie of the Year’ the same year. Over the course of his career, he has also won other awards such as the ‘NL Hank Aaron Award’ and the ‘Silver Slugger Award’. Standing 6 feet and three inches tall, he is quite good looking and has a huge fan base. He is currently married to Kayla Varner. His brother Bryan Harper is also a pitcher for the Washington Nationals.
Childhood & Early Life
Bryce Aaron Maz Harper was born on 16th October 1992 in Las Vegas, Nevada, to Ron and Sheri Harper. He has an older brother named Bryan.
He studied at Las Vegas High School, and in October 2009, he earned his General Educational Development (GED). This made him eligible for the June 2010 amateur draft, which would allow him to begin his professional career in baseball.
In 2010, Harper enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada of the Scenic West Athletic Conference. He made an impression by shattering the school’s previous record of 12 home runs by hitting 31. He was, therefore, named the SWAC Player of the Year.
In the West district finals of the 2010 NJCAA World Series, he performed well, scoring 6-for-7 with 5 RBIs and hit for the cycle. On 2nd June, he was ejected from a National Junior College World Series Game, after a third strike was called by home plate umpire Don Gilmore.
As it was his second ejection of the year, it resulted in a two-game suspension for him. This put an end to his amateur career. However, due to his competence and capability, he won the 2010 Golden Spikes Award.
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In the 2010 MLB Draft, Bryce Harper was drafted by the Washington Nationals as the number one pick. They eventually agreed to a 5-year contract worth $ 9.9 million. He was next selected to take part in the Arizona Fall League as a member of the Scottsdale Scorpions. This made him the second youngest player in the history of the league. He batted .343 and slugged .729 and led the Scorpions to a victory in the 2010 Arizona Fall League Championship.
He next played in the South Atlantic Minor League, for the team Hagerstown Suns. He hit .480, collected 7 home runs, and achieved 10 doubles and 23 RBIs. As his popularity grew, he was also selected to represent the United States in the 2011 All Star Game weekend.
He made his MLB debut with the Washington Nationals in 2012, in a match against the Los Angeles Dodgers. His performance was quite appreciated, and he was named the National League Rookie of the Month in May. He continued to perform well throughout the rest of the season and was named the National League Rookie of the Year.
During the opening day of the 2013 season, he hit two home runs in a game against the Miami Marlins. At the age of 20, he became the youngest major league player to have hit two home runs in his team’s first game of the season.
After he hit 13 home runs in just 58 games, he was also selected to take part in the 2013 Home Run Derby. He played 118 games in the entire season in which he hit .274/.368/.486 with 20 Home Runs, .58 RBI and 47 XBH. He successfully underwent a left knee surgery during the off-season, in order to remove a bursa sac.
During the 2014 season, he suffered a thumb injury which disabled him for some time. He made his return in June, and played in 100 games throughout the season. He batted .273 with 13 home runs and 32 RBI. After the 2014 season, it was stated that he would travel to Japan to take part in the 2014 Major League Baseball Japan-All Star Series. However, he withdrew later.
During the 2015 season, he hit the longest home run of his professional career: a 461-foot home run to centre field in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies. In another game against the Miami Marlins, he hit three home runs for the first time in his career. He was awarded the Player of the Month Award in the month of May. The same year, he was also named the 2015 National League Most Valuable Player, making him the first player of his team to win the honor.
Though his performance in the 2016 season was also praiseworthy, he was ejected after he yelled at Brian Knight when his teammate Danny Espinosa was called out on strikes. He received a suspension for one game and a fine. He played in 147 games in the season, and finished with a .243 batting average with 24 home runs and 86 RBI.
During the 2017 season, he hit a home run at PNC Park, setting a record for hitting a home run in all 15 National League ballparks in his career.
Awards & Achievements
The most important awards and honors received by Bryce Harper include the ‘Golden Spikes Award’ in 2010, the ‘NL Rookie of the Year’ in 2011, the ‘NL Hank Aaron Award’ in 2015, ‘The Silver Slugger Award’ in 2015, and the ‘NL Most Valuable Player Award’ in 2015.
Bryce Harper married his girlfriend Kayla Varner in 2016.
He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
He attributes his work ethic to his father, Ron, who is an ironworker in Las Vegas. His father is a very hardworking and disciplined person and Bryce strives to emulate these qualities.