Bryce Harper says he is used to being made fun of for his unfortunate meeting with a wall during a 2013 game but is starting to see the bright side.
“Babe Ruth ran into the wall in D.C. in 1920-something and knocked himself out,” Harper said. “So I’m in pretty damn good company.”
Harper's collision with a wall at Dodger Stadium in May of last year caused him to undergo knee surgery in November but says he is now ready for a big year.
“I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. . . . I’m leg-pressing 500 pounds. . . . I can get as big as I want if I play left field or right field. . . . I just want to get in there and try to hit homers."
Harper had 20 home runs and 58 RBI's last season, slightly down from the numbers he recorded in 2012 where he won rookie of the year.
The Las Vegas native also competed in the Home Run Derby contest, finishing as a runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland A's.
The outfielder is considered one of the best young stars in baseball but his Washington Nationals team were disappointing last year, finishing 10 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East despite promising World Series success.
Harper will be hoping that both he and his teammates can improve on that performance this season.