The name has been synonymous with "mega-prospect" since he was a sophomore in high school, and beginning with his selection as the number 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, the Washington Nationals and their fans have been in awe over what he might become in the big leagues.
On Saturday, April 28, 2012, we as fans finally got to see Harper in action against competition at the highest level.
While expectations were tempered as to what we might witness, considering Harper is a slow starter when he reaches a new level until he becomes comfortable, last night was a pleasant surprise. Although it was just one game and four at-bats, if Harper continues the way he performed both in the field and at the plate, he may actually match the hype surrounding his talent for so many years.
Harper put on quite a show without doing too much in his debut.
In the field, Harper showed his athleticism and his laser arm with a rope to the plate, hitting Wilson Ramos perfectly, although Ramos dropped the ball and the run scored.
At the plate, Harper showed that he has matured his hitting approach. Harper was laying off the very tough pitches instead of chasing them, and he put the ball in play in every at-bat. In the seventh inning, he hit a massive double that landed at the foot of the wall in center field, and in the ninth with runners at the corners he got a deep fly ball into left field for a sacrifice fly and the go-ahead run.
At the end of the game, the box score shows Harper was one for three with a double and an RBI. But what it doesn't show was Harper's maturity at the plate and his cannon of an arm in the field.
If Harper's future plays out the way his first big league start did, then we as fans as well as the Washington Nationals' organization will be ecstatic.