2 days after getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes, and slamming his helmet on the ground, Bryce Harper launched a 3-2 fastball to dead center field giving Harrisburg a 3-2 win over Trenton.
The shot, which can be seen here (skip to the 2:00 mark), was the first walk off home run of his minor league career and indicative of the power the 18 year old possesses, sending the ball an estimated 480ft clear over the wall in center field.
Harper began the season at Class A Hagerstown and was no match for opposing pitchers, hitting .318 with 49R 17 2B 14 HR 46 RBI 19 SB .423 OBP .554 SLG .977 OPS over 72 games. The Nationals decided to promote the 1st overall pick in 2010 to AA Harrisburg in July and Harper struggled out of the gate.
Against older and better competition, he hit just .238 with 1 HR and 5 RBI over 23 July games. Some questioned the Nationals decision to move so quickly with the 18 year old prodigy but Harper has begun to turn things around in August.
Through 10 games, he is 10-36 (.278) with 3 2B 1 3B 2 HR 7 RBI and 1 SB. He is slugging .583 with a .908 OPS. Overall on the season, he is hitting .297 24 2B 2 3B 17 HR 58 RBI 24 SB over 105 games, his first season of pro ball.
While Harper keeps making news for his lack of restraint with his emotions, it had to feel good taking out some frustration on a fastball to give his team the victory in the bottom of the 9th. He didn’t hold back either, jumping and pumping his fists as he rounded the bases to meet his team at home plate.
If you don’t like it, strike him out.