Harper With A Keen Eye
The Washington Nationals have had a good spring training so far when it comes to their offense scoring runs. In their first ten games, the Nats have the third most hits in the National League (102) and are tied for ninth in runs scored (52).
Although Bryce Harper doesn’t lead the team in RBI’s or home runs, he has showed some good patience at the plate this spring. His home runs against the Mets and Astros were absolutely crushed.
But, just like during 2015 spring training, Harper is being more selective of what pitches he wants to hit. His three walks are tied for second on the team. Keep in mind that two years ago he walked 15 times (most on the team and in the entire National League).
If the injuries are truly behind Harper, the patience at the plate will only lead to him getting much better swings. He won’t have as much of a time reaching for the fastball away. Plus, he has done a much better job of hitting the ball to left field, including his RBI double last Tuesday.
Yes, six games can be a very small sample size and that doesn’t mean the trend will continue during the rest of spring training. But, it is good to see the right fielder go back to the style of hitting that he had in 2015 and early on in the 2016 season. The Washington Nationals will need more of that if they want to get past the first round of the playoffs in 2017.