Everything seems to be going right for Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper
Whether you put stock in spring training stats or not, one thing has become certain for the Phillies over the past few weeks: Bryce Harper is completely locked in.
Across six games and 13 at-bats down in Florida, Harper is currently posting a .385 batting average and a 1.730 OPS. He leads the team in RBIs with 11, and he’s absolutely crushed three home runs.
On Sunday against the Red Sox, he even stole second and third base on back to back pitches.
Harper looks to be in fantastic shape and his swing appears to be similar to that of his “toe-tap” routine which he primarily used in his very dominant second half last year. Everything about his offensive game is screaming for a big season in 2020.
Now, at the end of the day, it is just spring training, and you can never invest too much faith into what goes down in Clearwater. However, what has stuck out (and is arguably far more important) is the mental state which Harper is in right now.
The right fielder seems relaxed. Comfortable. He’s grown his hair out, he’s loving life with his kid, he seems to love his new managerial staff, and he’s been with the team since day one (as opposed to last year where he had to arrive late).
Harper himself has talked openly about his improved comfort level in Philly this go around, citing last year that there was a ton to adjust to early in the season. “It’s good knowing I’ll be here the next 12 years, a lot more calm, not as crazy, not as many cameras. I’ll enjoy that and just get ready for the season” (per Jim Salisbury with NBCS).
After being with the Phillies for a full season and establishing himself as a leader in the clubhouse, positive vibes seem to be flowing.
Many are projecting a huge year for Bryce Harper in 2020, which may be needed for the Phils as they look to end a near decade-long playoff drought. If Harper can bring this same mentality to the regular season in a week, some MVP talk could even come out to play as well.