Phillies legend not concerned about Bryce Harper’s mid-career position switch

Former Phillies All-Star shortstop Larry Bowa joined MLB Network’s Hot Stove show and praised Bryce Harper’s position switch to first base.
Larry Bowa praises Philadelphia Phillies superstar Bryce Harper's move to first base
Larry Bowa praises Philadelphia Phillies superstar Bryce Harper's move to first base / Hunter Martin/GettyImages

Philadelphia Phillies infield legend Larry Bowa recently joined MLB Network’s Hot Stove hosts Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds for a quick interview about his MLB playing and coaching career and about the current Phillies roster he advises.

The biggest takeaway for Phillies fans is the assurance and confidence that Bowa exemplified as he gave his thoughts on Bryce Harper’s career move to become a first baseman. Bowa was asked how he felt about the move and the work Harper put in to be able to do it.

“It was a no-brainer ... he's very athletic, Harp, you could put him anywhere," Bowa said. "You could put him at short, you could put him at third.”

Bowa hit the nail on the head with one word: athletic. Harper is a freak athlete who can absolutely play any position on a baseball diamond. With his natural-born athletic ability combined with his work ethic, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he successfully switched positions. However, it was surprising just because not many players can do that, which makes him so valuable.

Larry Bowa went on to speak about Harper’s work ethic to become a first baseman.

“Nothing phased him, he picked it up real quick," Bowa said. "He went out every day, in all fairness to him, and worked extremely hard."

This tells us how adaptable Harper is, which is one of the most important qualities to have as a professional athlete. Bowa also mentioned how the two-time MVP could have started playing first base earlier but wanted to ensure he was at his best for his team.

“He could have played first probably a couple weeks earlier, but he [Harper] said, ‘When I go out there, I want to be the best I can be, I don’t want to hurt the ball club.’”

One of Harper's greatest leadership qualities is selflessness, always putting the team first and doing whatever he can to win. As the leader, it had to have been tough for Harper to be the DH and not be able to help the team for half the game. Bowa insinuates that's why Harper decided to switch his position permanently.

“I think he just likes to be more involved playing the infield and he really enjoyed it there,” Bowa said.

The Phillies need Harper’s involvement in every facet of the game, and this mid-career position switch might be the best thing for him, allowing him to play as much as possible with less risk of injury.

The permanent position switch also has a big impact on the team as a whole. Bowa explained that it opens up the outfield for the Phillies and that they will be in good shape if they can get Johan Rohas to improve at the plate.

It’s great to hear an All-Star infielder and Phillies advisor praise Harper’s fielding at first base thus far. Phillies fans can remain hopeful and confident in our guy.