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Bryce Harper Makes Nationals Park Look Like South Williamsport

On Thursday evening, the Washington Nationals held a press conference to show off introduce their 1st overall draft pick of 2010, Bryce Harper.  Nearly a week and half ago, the Nationals and Harper came to terms on a 5-year, $9.9 million contract- not a bad payday for a 17 year-old.  At the press conference, the young Harper donned a Washington Nationals cap and jersey for the first time, choosing #34 as a unique homage to his favorite baseball player, Mickey Mantle.  Why 34 you ask?  3+4=7.

Absent from the press conference was the 4lbs. of eye black on Harper’s face, however in it’s place was 6lbs. of hair gel used to sculpt a stylish mohawk.  It was a crime that they forced him to put on a Nationals’ cap over such a finely crafted ‘do, however I can sympathize with the general fear of being impaled by those stalagmites on Harper’s head.

When asked about the mohawk Harper chuckled before stating, ”My sister is a beautician, so she tries different things on me. The ladies like it.”

It is only a matter of time until Bryce learns that while the chicks may like his mohawk, they dig the long ball even more.

After press conference and before their game against the visiting Cardinals, the Nationals had Harper on the field taking several rounds of batting practice.  Everybody knew that Harper had some serious power, but seeing how far he could really hit the ball, at the Nationals’ ballpark nonetheless, finally made it all a reality.  He took six rounds of batting practice and according to The Washington Post, it went like this:

Round 1:  Harper bunts first pitch, drives a bunch the opposite way and drives a ball into the upper-upper deck- a region visited by the likes of Adam Dunn.

Round 2:  Harper does nothing special, compared to the upper deck job of the previous round.

Round 3:  Harper goes yard once.

Round 4:  Harper goes off, dropping 4 bombs.

Round 5:  Once again, Harper drops a single bomb…what’s next?

Round 6:  Harper drops 3 straight bombs.

You honestly have to see it to believe it.  Although the complete video of his batting practice session is unavailable, several clips are shown within this interview from Thursday night:

Bryce Harper visits booth –

Unfortunately the hype surrounding Bryce Harper’s arrival was bittersweet, as on Friday morning the Nationals’ learned that Stephen Strasburg needs Tommy John surgery and would more than likely not return until 2012.  Despite his tragic injury, the Nationals’ still have plenty to look forward to with the possibility of both players on the 2012 roster.

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