He has got one of the most famous brothers in all of baseball.
He is a southpaw looking to make it to the majors.
He has played for a national champion.
But all the questions come back to his talented younger brother, Bryce.
“I will at least have the opportunity to play with him at some point,” Bryan said. “That is one driving factor. Obviously, just making it in general, but the fact that I might be able to play with him is just icing on the cake.”
At 23, Bryan is three years older than Bryce. He has always been the pitcher to Bryce being the hitter. He grew up playing baseball, and a little soccer here and there.
“But I have always been a ballplayer,” Bryan said.
And he isn’t too proud to not take advice from little brother Bryce about what it is like.
“He knows that I have to just go about my business,” Bryan said of his conversations about major league baseball with Bryce. “That is what he always preaches, ‘Go about it the right way and you will be fine.’ He is still a kid playing a kid’s game in my opinion. He is still the same ol’ kid to me. He has always been the hitter and I have always been the pitcher. There is no real comparison or anything.”
And older brother also gets pumped up listening to his younger sibling hit home runs in the bigs, like the two Bryce smacked against the Marlins on opening day. Bryan was driving to Hagerstown and was able to listen to the mammoth shots on the radio.
“I listened to it when I was driving up,” Bryan recalled. “I about steered off the highway when he hit the first bomb and then when he hit the second one and I am just like (stunned).”
After playing one season with the College of Southern Nevada with Bryce, Bryan accepted a scholarship to pitch for South Carolina. In 2010-11, he was with South Carolina as the Gamecocks won their second straight national championship.
“It was good,” Bryan said. “I think it prepared me for the bigger level. I think playing before 8,000 fans every week, that kind of prepares you for moving on up in the ranks.”
Bryan throws a fastball, changeup and a slider. He will be the lone southpaw reliever in the Single-A Suns’ bullpen. Manager Tripp Keister said don’t read into Harper being Hagerstown’s only lefty reliever as they don’t pitch match-ups as much at this level as they instead concentrate on innings pitched.
And when you meet Bryan, he is an imposing figure at 6-foot-5, but you also can’t miss that mustache.
He has been working on a legendary Rollie Fingers-style handlebar mustache for five months.
“People tell me I have to keep it until something goes awry, like a losing streak or something like that. It will probably be here the whole year,” Bryan said. “I have been compared to the 1920s barehanded knuckle boxer.”
Tonight, Bryan could very well make his Hagerstown debut as the Suns open at Delmarva.