Former National League MVP Bryce Harper has lived up to the hype that surrounds his name this season.
Through 54 games played, Harper boasts a .322 average along with 15 home runs, 46 RBIs and a .431 on-base percentage. At this point, he is firmly in the discussion for the National League MVP award.
Therefore, it’s safe to say he’s locked in at the plate. At bat is also where Harper has become an absolute powerhouse over the beginning of his career. In 710 career games, the 24-year-old has hit .282 with 136 home runs through parts of six seasons in the Big Leagues.
However, defensively, Harper has also proven to be a major asset, even if he’s done so quietly.
Remember that Bryce was a highly-touted catcher at one point and was then converted to a right fielder. Therefore, he has a cannon for an arm and on Saturday, he put it on display with one of the most jaw-dropping outfield assists of the 2017 MLB season.
Check out the play below and keep in mind that the safe call was overturned, thus keeping the game knotted at 3-3 in the top of the ninth inning:
Using one perfectly-placed hop to get the ball to the waiting catcher, Harper delivered an absolutely perfect throw to home plate to nab the runner. The way that the ball glided towards the catcher on the bounce was indicative of how hard it was thrown, as it didn't seem to lose much steam.
As you can imagine in today’s technologically-advanced age, Harper’s throw was clocked. MLB’s Director of Baseball Research & Development Daren Willman tweeted out the absurd velocity shortly after the throw was made:
While he was able to use his body’s momentum to make the toss, nearly reaching triple-digits on the throw was wildly impressive, especially considering that he had to release the ball very quickly after making the catch.
This highlight came just one day after he literally ripped a cover off of a baseball at bat in the previous game:
As a result of the outfield assist (after the overturned call), the Nats went into the bottom half of the inning tied before eventually losing in extra-innings. However, the game might have been over in regulation had it not been for Harper’s rope of a throw from right field.
Harper’s premier offensive and defensive abilities will likely keep him in the discussion in the National League MVP race all season long.
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