There's much to like about 'hitterish' Harper
Phenom shows coolness, quirkiness and a whole lot of talent
JUPITER, Fla. -- The reporters who gathered around Bryce Harper's locker in the visiting clubhouse at Roger Dean Stadium last week wanted to ask the nascent Nationals natural about his one-pitch, pinch-hit appearance in the seventh inning against the Marlins. The one in which he pelted a first-pitch changeup into right field for an RBI single.It had been, after all, one of several moments in big league camp in which Harper's advanced talent belied his actual inexperience. Harper said he pounced on the pitch because he's always going to be aggressive on anything up in the zone. And then he said something that showed that he is not only redefining what an 18-year-old kid can accomplish, but also scripting his own bizarre baseball lexicon. "I want to hit right now," he said. "I'm feeling hitterish." Asked to define "hitterish," Harper said, "You wake up every morning and you're feeling hitterish, and you're going to get a hit that day. ... You know, you've got to wake and rake." Now that he's been optioned out of Major League camp, as expected, Harper will have to wake and rake for Class A Hagerstown at season's outset. But if first impressions count for anything, his stay in Maryland won't last long.
2010 Spring Training - Major League Baseball
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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, CastroTurf, and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.