Bryce Harper is a 29-year-old American professional baseball player who currently plays as the right fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies of the Major League Baseball. Bryce played for the Washington Nationals from 2012 to 2018 and signed with the Phillies in 2019. Bryce has been said to be a 5 tool player which simply means that he excels in Speed, Throwing, Fielding, Hitting for Average, and Hitting for Power. He is often called “Mondo,” a nickname which he has also sported on his jersey. He is one of the players to have hit a home run in all of the 15 national league ballparks.
October 16, 1992, age 29
Bats: Left, Throws: Right
BRYCE HARPER EARLY LIFE AND BACKGROUND
He is the son of Ron and Sherilyn Harper who reside in Las Vegas where he also spends his off-season. Bryce attributes his work ethic to the lessons he learned from his father. Bryce also has an elder brother, Bryan Harper who also plays for the Washington Nationals organization. Bryce attended Las Vegas High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bryce was featured on the cover story of the Sports Illustrated magazine in 2009, in which he was compared to Lebron James. After his sophomore, he earned his General Educational Development in 2009 which made him eligible for the MLB Draft in June 2010. Harper then enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada where he played as a catcher. His older brother was his teammate there. That same year Bryce also won the Golden Spikes Award which is given to the best amateur player in the United States. He is married to Kayla Varner and has a son and a daughter. Bryce is a big fan of the Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League.
WHO DRAFTED BRYCE HARPER ?
The Washington Nationals drafted Bryce in 2010 in the first overall selection of the MLB Draft. Although Bryce played as a catcher in his amateur career he was drafted as an outfielder so that he could debut in the MLB earlier due to accelerated player development. Bryce and the Nationals agreed to a 5 year, $9.9 million contract. The contract included a signing bonus and eight semesters of college tuition. Bryce was introduced by the Nationals on August 26, 2010, and chose to wear number 34. He initially played for the Nationals’ Fall League and later participated in the Arizona Fall League as a player for the Scottsdale Scorpions and also won the AFL Championship with the team. Bryce later played for the Hagerstown Suns of the Class-A South Atlantic League. He was selected to play for the United States team in the 2011 All-Star Futures Game 2011. He also played for the Harrisburg Senators of the Class AA Eastern League on July 4. In the 2012 season, he played for the Syracuse Chiefs of the Class AAA International League before finally starting his major league career.
BRYCE HARPER’S MLB JOURNEY
On April 28, 2012, Bryce made his MLB debut against the LA Dodgers. He was hit by a pitch by Cole Hamels in a game against the Phillies but in that same game, he stole the home plate and became the first teenager to do it since 1964. Bryce was the youngest player to hit a home run in the major leagues since 1988. He also won NL Rookie of the Month. Later that season Bryce also became the youngest position player to make the All-Star roster. That year he also won the NL Rookie of the Year. In the 2013 season, he became the youngest player to hit 2 home runs in his team's first game and also became an All-Star Starter and participated in the Home Run Derby as well. During the off-season, he also underwent successful knee surgery. In the 2014 season, he injured his thumb in a game against the Padres and had to play rehab games with the Harrisburg Senators, and came back to join the Nationals on June 30. In 2015, Harper hit the longest home run of his career with a 461-foot drive straight over the center field against the Phillies. He also led the league in WAR and tied for the NL home run title. That season he won the Hank Aaron Award and later was selected as the NL’s unanimous MVP making him the youngest player to win unanimously.
In the 2016 season, Bryce hit his first career grand slam for his 100th career home run. Nationals finished that season with a 95-67 record and clinched the NL East division but then lost to the Dodgers. In 2017, on opening day he again hit a home run against the Marlins. On May 29, he was hit by a pitch from Hunter Strickland of the Giants which led to one of the most well-known brawls in MLB in which Micheal Morse another Giants suffered a career-ending injury. In the 2018 season, he had a career-high 130 walks, 34 home runs, 100 RBIs, and a .249 batting average and became a free agent in the off-season.
On March 2, 2019, Bryce signed a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, it is a 13-year, $330 million contract. His first hit with the Phillies was a 465-foot home run at the Citizens Bank Park although they missed the playoffs that year and the 2020 season was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, Bryce had 35 homers and 84 RBIs and batted .309/.429/.615 in 141 games and with this performance, he won his second NL MVP award. On May 12, it was revealed that Bryce was diagnosed with a tear in the UCL area of his right elbow. He received treatment for that and was not allowed to throw in the outfield.