HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Nationals’ No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper is well into his first week playing left field for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators. In his first game, Harper had a pair of singles. In his second contest, he threw out two runners from left field trying to stretch singles into doubles.
The transition for Harper from low Single-A to Double-A is in its infancy on the field, and his new teammates are smoothing that change out for the young star in the clubhouse.
His teammates have welcomed Harper quickly and he has fit in well with a team filled with relative veterans compared to the 18-year old. The Senators are a loose, relaxed and confident squad that is playing some of its best baseball of the season, now 15 games above .500. That is a good situation for Harper to join in on.
First baseman Tyler Moore said he is happy to have Harper on his team and respects the pressures the phenom might feel this initial week at the Double-A level.
“I like Bryce, I am glad he is here,” Moore said. “He has definitely got learning to do just like all of us do. I think a lot of times people try to put him on a pedestal but you got to remember this kid is 18 years old with all the ability in the world and he is handling it good. He is mature. This game will humble you and this game will do many things for you. It will teach you a lot about life, actually. He is working hard every day.”
Moore has noticed the media rush on Harper and understands it is a lot for a young player to handle.
“It is crazy how many people want to talk to him,” Moore said. “It is nuts. That comes with the territory. God has blessed him with some ability. He is going to learn. He probably already knows more about the politics of it all than I do. He has handled it well. He has a lot of good guys like (outfield coordinator) Tony Tarasco and others helping him out and advising him.”
Moore is a very good example of player to follow after scuffling early last season and then rebounding for one of the best halves of hitting you will ever see from a baseball player, winning the Carolina League Player of the Year honors with 31 homers and 111 RBIs for Single-A Potomac Nationals.
This season, Moore is batting .259 with 23 doubles, four triples, 16 homers and 53 RBIs in 81 games. That is 47 homers for Moore since the beginning of last season.