Bryce Harper Enters Record Books with Opening Day Home Run

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffApril 4, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 3: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals hits a home run against the Miami Marlins in the sixth inning of the opening day game at Nationals Park on April 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper collected just one hit in the club's 4-2 Opening Day victory over the Miami Marlins, but the one knock was a home run that got the team on the board for the first time this season.

Harper's bomb also made him the first player in major league history to register five home runs on Opening Day before turning 25, per MLB Stat of the Day. The effort carried over from an explosive spring training in which Harper recorded eight home runs in 24 contests.

The sixth-year pro is coming off a somewhat disappointing 2016 campaign. After posting career-high totals in home runs (42), RBI (99) and batting average (.330) in 2015, he hit just .243 with 24 homers and 86 RBI last season. Harper did steal a career-high 21 bases last season, surpassing his previous high of 18 in his rookie season.

The left-handed slugger has a full season ahead of him before turning 25, giving him ample time to mark up record books before hitting each age number during his career. He also debuted in the majors at just 19 years of age, providing him with a jump-start on most major leaguers atop the career leaderboards.

Washington possesses team control of Harper through at least the 2018 season, per Baseball Reference, but it wouldn't be surprising if the franchise attempts to sign him to a massive contract extension before that offseason approaches. If not, the 2019 offseason will likely feature a massive bidding war for the superstar's services.

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